By Anita Dushyanth, PhD
Sperm morphology has been a very important parameter in the analysis of a semen sample and found to be the best predictor of a man’s fertilizing potential. The assessment of sperm morphology by Kruger’s strict criteria is routinely applied and widely accepted as the best method of prediction for male fertility potential.
The strict criteria classification method provides specific guidelines for categorizing the sperm as normal, sub-normal or abnormal based on parameters such as the size and shape of the sperm head and tail. As per Kruger’s strict criteria, for a spermatozoon to be considered normal, the sperm head, neck, mid-piece, and tail must be normal. The head should be oval in shape. The mid-piece should be slender and attached axially to the head. The tail should be straight, uniform, thinner than the mid-piece and uncoiled. Slightly abnormal forms of sperm are categorized as abnormal. TZI (teratozoospermia index) is introduced to identify the mean number of anomalies per abnormal spermatozoa.
The first Dimensions II Strict Morphology software for CASA systems was launched in July 2013. It provides automated, objective and morphometric measurements to determine morphological classification of sperm according to the strict criteria. The strict criteria values are hard-coded into the software so that the user is not required to be proficient in manual assessment of sperm morphology. Dimensions II is the only strict morphology software package validated by Dr. T Kruger.
On March 23, 2017 Hamilton Thorne (TSX:HTL.V) announced that they have released a new and improved version of the Dimensions II software that offers ease of use and navigation. The new features include:
- Mid-piece detection
- Calculation of TZI
- Single image export with annotation overlay
- Bulk image export with annotations overlay during analysis
- Addition of Japanese and German language support
Additionally, Hamilton Thorne revealed that the new software update would improve the acrosome measurement, tail detection, cell detection rate and head segmentation accuracy. Further, it includes large signature templates that allow wider range of normal shapes to be detected with higher accuracy. This update is available at no cost to Dimensions II users, but will be sold to all other customers, including those who decide to upgrade from an older version. The improvements to Dimensions II software address the need to provide clinically acceptable results with precision and speed, which influences laboratory standardization positively.
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