INTRODUCTION: This study examined the influence of the manual assessment of debris on the results of sperm concentration, progressive motility, and normal morphology measured using the SQA-V system (Medical Electronic Systems LLC, Los Angeles, CA, USA).
METHODS: Sixty samples were analyzed simultaneously and independently by different operators using the manual technique and the SQA-V analyzer. Three measurements (sperm concentration, progressive motility, and normal morphology) of each sample were assessed using the 4 debris assessment levels: none/few, moderate, many, and gross.
RESULTS: Given an optimal assessment of debris, the study data indicate that the SQA-V provided results that had very good agreement with those of the manual method: sperm concentration (rho=0.987, regression analysis formula: y=0.961x+1.962, p<0.0001), progressive motility (rho=0.949, regression analysis formula: y=0.989x+0.418, p<0.0001), and normal morphology (rho=0.694, regression analysis formula: y=0.678x+4.061, p<0.0001). Underestimation of debris increased sperm concentration and decreased motility and normal morphology, while overestimation of debris decreased sperm concentration and increased motility and normal morphology.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The results indicated that the performance of the SQA-V remains subject to the competency of the operator.