Effect of cryopreservation on the frequency of chromosomal abnormalities and sex ratio in human sperm

Renee H. Martin*, Judy E. Chernos, Alfred W. Rademaker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The effects of cryopreservation on the frequency and type of chromosomal abnormalities in human sperm were investigated. Employing a technique that enables direct visualization of human sperm chromosomes following in vitro penetration of hamster oocytes, sperm samples from 10 normal men were examined before and after freezing in liquid nitrogen. A total of 1,960 sperm karyotypes were analyzed, 1,132 before freezing and 828 after freezing. There was no significant difference in the frequency of structural chromosomal anomalies (10.5% prefreeze vs. 8.5% postfreeze), but there was a significant decrease in the frequency of numerical abnormalities (5.2% prefreeze vs. 3.0% postfreeze). However, there was a large excess of hypohaploid complements compared with hyperhaploid complements, suggesting that the hypohaploid complements were caused by technical artefact. A conservative estimate of aneuploidy, derived by doubling the hyperhaploid frequencies, did not differ before (0.4%) and after (0.4%) freezing. There was no evidence for interdonor variability in response to sperm cryopreservation for total chromosomal abnormalities, structural abnormalities, and sex ratios. The sex ratios were also not affected by cryopreservation and did not differ significantly from the theoretical 50%. It is concluded that cryopreservation does not affect the frequencies of chromosomal abnormalities or alter the sex ratio in human sperm, provided that an adequate cryoprotective buffer and freezing system is employed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-163
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular reproduction and development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1991


  • Sperm chromosomal abnormalities
  • Sperm cryopreservation
  • Sperm freezing
  • Sperm sex ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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