This paper was written from the standpoint that computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA) instruments, which capture a 'snapshot' of sperm trajectories in order to generate their data, may provide a poor measure of hyperactivated motility in a sperm population where hyperactivation is multiphasic in nature. To illustrate this point, a series of theoretical sperm populations were constructed which varied subtly but significantly in the nature of the hyperactivated behaviour expressed by spermatozoa. The parameters which were manipulated were: (i) the number of hyperactivated phases exhibited within a given period of time; (ii) the duration of these phases; and (iii) proportion of spermatozoa within the population which exhibited hyperactivated phases. These populations were then subject to an analysis in which snapshots of sperm motion were examined to determine the percentage of hyperactivated spermatozoa for that population. The results indicated that whilst this snapshot approach to quantifying hyperactivation could provide a figure for the percentage of hyperactivated spermatozoa within the sample window, this often inaccurately described the underlying behaviour of the population. Since there is very likely to be a significant amount of biological information contained within the nature of multiphasic behaviour, this paper has argued that this aspect of snapshot analysis is one which requires serious consideration by CASA manufacturers and medical researchers.
- Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted
- Sperm Motility