Morphometric differences in sperm head dimensions of fertile and subfertile stallions

P. J. Casey, C. G. Gravance, R. O. Davis, D. D. Chabot, Irwin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

85 Scopus citations


Gross morphological evaluation of stallion spermatozoa is of clinical value in assessing male fertility in the horse. While of value, methods of subjective sperm classification yield highly variable results. Recent development of computer-assisted sperm morphometry analysis (ASMA) technology has allowed for the objective analysis of sperm head morphometry. In the current study, ASMA was employed to determine morphometric differences in sperm head dimensions between fertile and subfertile stallions. At least 200 spermatozoa from each of 10 fertile and 10 subfertile stallions were analyzed by a commercial ASMA instrument. The mean measurements for length, width, area, perimeter, and width/length for each stallion were recorded and group means compared by a two-sample t-test. The mean measurements for length, area and perimeter were significantly larger in the subfertile than the fertile group (5.77 μm vs 5.33 μm, 12.66 μm vs 11.37 μm and 14.59 μm vs 13.64 μm respectively). The width of sperm heads from stallions in the subfertile group also tended to be larger than those of fertile stallions. The data suggest that differences in the dimensions of sperm heads may exist between fertile and subfertile stallions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-582
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 1997



  • Fertility
  • Morphology
  • Morphometry
  • Spermatozoa
  • Stallion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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