The Turek Clinic has reported that a new study published in Human Reproduction, demonstrates the use of metabolic imaging to locate sperm in infertile men. This non-invasive imaging procedure replaces invasive techniques such as testicular biopsy.
MR Spectroscopy is a non-invasive diagnostic technology that is cleared by the FDA. The company said that the study found that MR Spectroscopy a simple metabolic scan that combines the use of 1H Spectroscopy with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to determine the likelihood of finding sperm in men with non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA).
Traditional methods for evaluating if sperm exist, including testicular biopsy and microdissection are highly invasive and have only a 60% to 65% success rate. FNA Sperm Mapping, pioneered by Dr. Turek, is far less invasive, but still involves the use of fine needle aspiration to obtain tissue samples from the testes.
In contrast, MR Spectroscopy, or magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging, a non-invasive scan, measures metabolic activity in the testis. The study shows that the scan is as accurate as a more invasive testis biopsy in reading several abnormal patterns of sperm production typically associated with infertility and azoospermia. It also shows that testis tissue containing spermatids or sperm carry a distinct chemical signature that can be distinguished by MR Spectroscopy.
Additionally, MR Spectroscopy has the ability to evaluate testis metabolism in as many as 100 areas within the testis, increasing the ability to sample for sperm well beyond any of the more invasive techniques commonly used.
Paul Turek, lead author of the study, former professor and endowed chair at the University of California San Francisco and founder of The Turek Clinic, said: “Some men with azoospermia may still have small amounts of sperm in the testicle, but determining which of these men has retrievable sperm is challenging.
“This is an exciting application of metabolic scanning that shows great potential to eliminate invasive biopsies and gives new hope to infertile men who wish to father children.”