Several biochemicals in semen are secreted by the accessory glands in the reproductive tract. This biochemical can be used as diagnostic predictors for the disorders in the male reproductive system. To assess the level of biochemical markers in semen, their relation to fertility hormones and spermogram among Sudanese infertile patients were studied. The biochemical markers studied were fructose, citric acid, zinc and neutral alpha-glucosidase. Their levels in semen were estimated using analytical photometry, spectrophotometry and atomic absorption spectrometry. Estimation covered 500 infertile males (150 azoospermic, 150 oligospermic, 100 asthenozoospermic and 100 with abnormal sperm morphology), as well as 100 normospermic control males. Fertility hormones were assayed in patients and controls by ELISA. Seminal neutral alpha-glucosidase and citric acid levels were found significantly reduced in azoospermic and oligospermic patients, while zinc levels was reduced in all infertile patients (p < 0.05). Semen fructose level was found within the normal range. Significant negative correlation was noticed between neutral alpha-glucosidase and both follicle stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone (in azoospermic patients), and prolactin hormone in oligospermic patients (r < 0.05). 2.7% of azoospermic patients had Sertoli cell only syndrome. 13% of the infertile patients had varicocele, and this was associated with a significant increase in FSH and LH and a decrease in seminal neutral alpha-glucosidase, citric acid and zinc (p < 0.05). 9.6% of the patients studied had dysfunctional sexual problems and was associated with a significant increase in prolactin. On the other hand, 7.2% of these patients were smokers and this was associated with a significant reduction in semen volume and levels of neutral alpha-glucosidase and zinc (p < 0.05). There was conflicting association between biochemical markers in semen with both reproductive hormones level and semen quality in the infertile patients, but neutral alpha-glucosidase level was the only biochemical markers in semen that correlated well with both gonadotropins hormones (negatively/inversely) and the semen quality.
Key words: Biochemical markers, reproductive hormones, male infertility, seminal plasma, alpha-glucosidase.
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