OBJECTIVE:To investigate the relationship of seminal free L-carnitine with functional spermatozoal characteristics. METHODS:This observational study was conducted at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi, from August 2009 to June 2013, and comprised fertile and infertile subjects. Semen analysis was performed and reported for its volume, sperm count, motility and morphology according to the World Health Organisation's guidelines. Seminal free L-carnitine was estimated by high-performance liquid chromatography. Mean values of demographic characteristics, semen analysis and seminal free L-carnitine were compared, and possible relation of seminal free L-carnitine with functional spermatozoal characteristics was explored. RESULTS:Of the 61 participants, 19(31.1%) were fertile controls, while 42(68.9%) were infertile men. The mean age of controls was 32.7±1.44 years and that of infertile patients was 33.4±0.75 years (p=0.655). The mean seminal free L-carnitine was 447.6±23.86mmol/L among controls and 154.6±12.99 among patients (p=0.001). There was a strong positive correlation of seminal free L-carnitine with sperm count, total motility and normal morphology (p<0.01 each). CONCLUSIONS:The role of seminal free L-carnitine in the maintenance of normal functional spermatozoal characteristics was validated.
J Pak Med Assoc (JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association)
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