Testis & epididymis


Maturation arrest

Topic Completed: 1 September 2012

Minor changes: 9 September 2020

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PubMed Search: Testis and epididymis Infertility Maturation arrest

Turki Al-Hussain, M.D.
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Cite this page: Al-Hussain T. Maturation arrest. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/testismaturationarrrest.html. Accessed December 7th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Complete maturation arrest: germ cell maturity ceases at a specific point frequently at primary spermatocyte level; sperm counts usually zero
  • Incomplete maturation arrest: similar to complete but a few late spermatids are present in a few seminiferous tubules, some prefer the term hypospermatogenesis instead of incomplete maturation arrest (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2010;134:1197); patients are usually oligospermic
  • Same etiologies as hypospermatogenesis (diabetes mellitus, toxins, excess heat, varicocele, hypothyroidism, irradiation); also postpubertal gonadotropin deficiency, alkylating agents
  • Nonzero sperm counts indicate late spermatids are present somewhere in testis, although perhaps not in area biopsied
  • Patients with early maturation arrest have a greater incidence of genetic anomalies and are more likely to have worse reproductive outcomes than are patients with late maturation arrest (Urology 2012;80:826)
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Numerous spermatogonia, few spermatocytes, no mature spermatozoa
  • Sertoli cells prominent since reduced germ cells
  • Tubules often contain degenerated cells with irregular dense nuclei
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Asmaa Gaber Abdou, M.D.

Various images

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