Semen neutral alpha-glucosidase measurement is used in the investigation of male infertility, especially in the investigation of patients with azoospermia and normal testosterone levels.
Semen alpha-glucosidase can be divided into two fractions: neutral (associated with the epididymis) and acidic (derived from the prostate). In patients with azoospermia and normal androgen levels, the measurement of neutral alpha-glucosidase (NAG) in semen plasma is a reliable parameter for assessing epididymal function. Neutral alpha-glucosidase measurement is a more specific and sensitive epididymal test than other markers, such as glycerophosphocholine and L-Carnitine.
In the seminal plasma of azoospermic patients with bilateral occlusion between the epididymis and the ejaculatory duct, there are very low levels of neutral alpha-glucosidase. In contrast, enzyme activity is normal when azoospermia is due to the cessation of sperm maturation or obstruction between the epididymis and the straight seminiferous tubules of the testes. Therefore, the measurement of seminal plasma neutral alpha-glucosidase in men with azoospermia allows the differentiation between the main causes of this condition to be differentiated.
Low neutral alpha-glucosidase in patients with oligozoospermia may reflect partial obstruction of the epididymis associated with infections or other inflammatory conditions. Neutral alpha-glucosidase enzyme activity in patients with normal sperm concentration is related to the structural and functional integrity of the neck and tail of the spermatozoa, reflecting changes in the sperm membrane caused by epididymal secretion.
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The results of laboratory tests should not be interpreted as the numerical result of an individual analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to individual and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your GP can explain the importance of your test results.
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