We determined whether men who may have partial obstruction and antisperm antibodies after vasovasostomy can be distinguished from other infertile men with antisperm antibodies only, and whether repeat microsurgical reversal is beneficial in such patients.Materials and Methods
A total of 412 patients underwent indirect immunobead testing for antisperm antibodies at our laboratory from December 1991 through July 1996. Of 95 patients with an assay greater than 20% binding 49 had normal partners and were grouped by history of vasovasostomy (20), varicocele (9), cryptorchidism (8) and epididymo-orchitis (12). Semen analysis characteristics and antisperm antibody binding variables were compared across histories. Pregnancy rates were compared between patients treated surgically for partial obstruction and those treated for antisperm antibodies. Mean followup was 33.8 months.Results
Compared to the other 3 groups, men with a history of vasectomy and reversal had significantly lower sperm concentration (p = 0.002), poorer motility (p <0.001), lower overall binding on the indirect immunobead assay (p <0.001) and lower IgA binding (p = 0.008). The clinical diagnosis of partial obstruction was based on a sense of epididymal fullness by palpation, as well as the aforementioned semen parameters. Of the 20 patients with a history of vasectomy and reversal 14 were diagnosed with partial obstruction and underwent repeat microsurgical reversal and 6 with a history of vasovasostomy but no evidence of obstruction received no further therapy and never established pregnancies. The remaining 29 patients underwent sperm washing and assisted reproduction. Of 14 patients 7 (50%) established pregnancies after repeat reversal compared to only 5 of 29 patients (17.2%) treated with assisted reproduction (P = 0.025).Conclusions
Antisperm antibodies are not a significant factor in persistently infertile post-reversal cases with the aforementioned criteria. Repeat reversal appears to be the most successful treatment option in this setting.