The aim of this study was to compare sperm DNA damage between men with a history of congenital undescended testis (UDT) and men with a history of acquired UDT. A long-term follow-up study of men with previous UDT was performed. Fifty men with congenital UDT who had undergone orchiopexy at childhood age, 49 men with acquired UDT after a ‘wait-and-see’-protocol (e.g. awaiting spontaneous descent until puberty and perform an orchiopexy in case of non-decent), and 22 healthy proven fertile men were included. The DNA fragmentation index (DFI) using sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) was used to express the level of sperm DNA damage. Decreased fertility potential was considered if DFI was above 30%. Sperm DNA damage was not statistically different between cases of congenital and acquired UDT. DFI was significantly more often >30% in the complete group of men with congenital UDT (9/50; 18%) and in the subgroup with bilateral congenital UDT (3/7; 43%) in comparison with the controls (none) (p-value 0.049 and 0.01, respectively). Age at orchiopexy in congenital UDT had no statistical effect on DNA damage. In men with acquired UDT, DFI did not statistically differ between those having undergone orchiopexy and those experiencing spontaneous descent. This study supports the hypothesis that UDT is a spectrum representing both congenital UDT and acquired UDT. Sperm DNA damage at adult age is not influenced by age at orchiopexy in congenital UDT cases and by orchiopexy or spontaneous descent in acquired UDT cases.

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Keywords cryptorchidism, DNA damage, infertility, sperm chromatin structure assay, testis descent
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Journal Andrology
van Brakel, J, Dinkelman-Smit, M, de Muinck Keizer-Schrama, S.M.P.F, Hazebroek, F.W.J, & Dohle, G.R. (2017). Sperm DNA damage measured by sperm chromatin structure assay in men with a history of undescended testes. Andrology, 5(4), 838–843. doi:10.1111/andr.12384