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Volume 14, Issue 1 (January 2012) 14, 82–87; 10.1038/aja.2011.60

Evaluation of the azoospermic male

Robert Oates

Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA

Correspondence: Professor R Oates, (robert.oates@bmc.org)

Received 11 August 2011; Revised 27 September 2011; Accepted 14 November 2011; Published online 19 December 2011


When presented with an azoospermic patient, a thorough history and careful, considered physical examination often leads to a definite or presumptive diagnosis. An algorithmic, logical thought process is important to have in mind when embarking on the evaluation. Adjunctive laboratory tests, such as hormonal assays or genetic studies, are often complementary and/or additive and allow a very precise determination to be made as to the etiologies, either genetic or acquired. It is only with this information that a therapeutic plan can be made for the patient. As will be discussed, a targeted approach to testing is far more satisfying and cost-effective than a blind, shotgun approach.

Keywords: azoospermia; congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens; male infertility; Y chromosomal microdeletion

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