Abstracts of the Third European Congress of Andrology and16th Congress of the German Society of Andrology,Mu ¨ nster, Germany, 11-14 September 2004 N. Goncharov (Russia)A. Giwercman (Sweden)C. Krausz (Italy) R. Mieusset (France)E. Nieschlag (Germany) P. Saunders (United Kingdom)O. So¨der (Sweden) F. M. Ko¨hn (Germany)E. Nieschlag (Germany)W. Weidner (Germany) M. E. Beutel1, W. Weidner2 and E. Bra¨hler3 1Klinik fu¨r Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie; 2Klinik und Poliklinik fu¨r Urologie und Kinderurologie, Justus-Liebig- Universita¨t, Giessen, Germany; 3Abt. Medizinische Psychologie und Soziologie, Universita¨t Leipzig, Germany While age-related complaints of women have been subject to long-standing interest particularly in relation to HRT, age-associated complaints of men have only recently found clinical and scientific U.S. Copyright Clearance Center Code Statement: 0303-4569/2004/3604-0141 $ 15.00/0 Abstracts of the Third European Congress of Andrology, 2004 C. Di Bisceglie1, M. Durazzo2, F. Lanfranco1, K. Pantazis, A. Chatzigeorgiou, T. Mikos, K. Chatzigeorgiou, D. G. Goulis, I. Bontis and M. Tagliabue1, M. Taliano1, L. Brocato1 and Unit of Reproductive Endocrinology, First Department of 1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases; 2Division Obstetrics & Gynecology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, of Internal Medicine III, Department of Internal Medicine, Objective. Significant research on artificial neural Hepatitis C virus (HCV) may induce extra-hepatic, networks (ANN) in medicine has been reported so far.
mostly immuno-mediated, manifestations. It is Although the initial enthusiasm was followed by unclear if HCV infection itself can affect sperma- scepticism, current advances raise expectations for their togenesis and, thus, hormonal and seminal param- use in decision making. As there are no applications of eters. The aim of our study was to evaluate seminal ANN in the field of andrology, we present an ANN parameters and reproductive hormones in young application in the field of azoospermia.
subjects with chronic HCV infection before and Material and methods. A cohort of azoosper- during antiviral treatment. We studied 10 male mic men (n = 147) was investigated through patients aged 35.0 ± 2.2 years (mean ± SD) with history, clinical examination, sperm and basal chronic hepatitis C before and after 6 months of hormonal levels. Based on these parameters, two peg-interferon and ribavirine treatment. HCV classifications were made: (1) one with two major RNA genotype was assessed in all cases. Active subgroups - (a) obstructive azoospermia (n = 63) viral replication and increased transaminases were and (b) nonobstructive azoospermia (n = 84) and present in all patients. Serum inhibin B, FSH, LH, (2) one with four major subgroups - (a) obstruct- total and free testosterone, estradiol, prolactin levels, sperm concentration, progressive motility and normal morphology were assessed. We studied hypogonadism (n = 2) and (d) hypogonadotropic the same hormonal and seminal parameters in 16 hypogonadism (n = 11). An ANN was constructed having as input values of eight variables (primary Before antiviral treatment, sperm concentration was not statistically different between patients and andrological disease, clinical presence of varico- controls; on the other hand, progressive motility cele, testicular volume, sperm volume, FSH, LH, and normal morphology were reduced in patients total testosterone). This ANN was a two hidden layer multilayer perceptron, trained with static 28.0 ± 9.7 versus 42.0 ± 6.7%, P < 0.001). Inhi- backpropagation algorithm, which consisted of bin B was also lower in patients than in controls too one input layer with eight inputs, a first hidden layer with five neurons, a second hidden layer P < 0.01). The other hormonal parameters were with four neurons and an output layer with one in the normal range in all patients without output, leading to a total of 64 connections.
significant differences between the two groups.
Results. The ANN used 124 cases in order to After 6-month treatment, sperm concentration be trained whereas the remaining 23 cases were and progressive motility was unchanged, but there used for its evaluation. A correct diagnosis was was a remarkable reduction of normal morphology achieved in 90% of cases according to the two- (28.0 ± 9.7 versus 19.5 ± 11.1%, P < 0.05) in all subgroup classification; this percentage was only patients. On the contrary, inhibin B levels were 60% according to the four-subgroup classifica- increased in 90% of patients (101.7 ± 47.0 versus 161.9 ± 52.8 pg ml-1, P < 0.01). In conclusion, Conclusions. Given the present software prop- HCV-infected patients show sperm abnormalities, erties, there is no total agreement between ANN in particular alterations of progressive motility and and clinical diagnosis. It is believed that the morphology. The treatment could cause a worsen- ing of morphology. However, inhibin B levels proper use on large datasets will greatly contribute normalization seems to suggest a prospective in clinical as well as educational aspects of


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