Sperm head morphometry analysis of ejaculate and dismount stallion semen samples

C. G. Gravance, Z. Champion, Irwin Liu, P. J. Casey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The evaluation of seminal characteristics is important in the clinical detection of stallion subfertility. Conventional semen evaluation includes subjective determination of sperm concentration, motility, and gross morphology. Due to the subjectivity and variability of the manual morphology assessment, computer automated sperm morphology analyses has been developed. Computer automated sperm morphology analysis was applied in the current study to determine if the morphometric measurements of sperm heads from collected and dismount samples of the same ejaculate were similar. If the post-ejaculate dismount sample is representative of the entire ejaculate, this sample may be utilised in determining the fertility of the ejaculate. Ejaculate samples were collected from ten stallions using an artificial vagina. Post-ejaculate dismount samples of the same ejaculate were taken from the head of the penis. A thin smear of the collected and dismount samples were prepared onto microscope slides and spermatozoa were stained for 40 min in haematoxylin. At least 200 properly digitised sperm heads from each slide were analysed using computer automated sperm morphometry analysis. The mean values for length, width, width/length, area, and perimeter were recorded from each analysis of collected and dismount samples and compared by paired t-test. The coefficients of variation of each analysis was also recorded and compared between collected and dismount samples by paired t-test. No significant differences (P > 0.10) in any measurements were found between collected and dismount samples. The mean values for all stallions for collected and dismount samples were length = 5.96 μM and 6.06 μM, width = 2.95 μM and 2.98 μM, width/length = 0.49 and 0.49, area = 13.31 μM2 and 13.65 μM2 and perimeter = 15.54 μM and 15.74 μM respectively. No significant differences were detected in the coefficients of variation of sperm head measurements from collected and dismount samples. These results indicate sperm head measurements from dismount semen are representative of those of the ejaculate. Hence, sperm head measurements of dismount samples may be viably applied to studies of fertility or in cases of clinical fertility assessment. This finding will further assist in the development of normal sperm head morphometry criteria in the stallion. Clinically, a slide can be prepared in the field after natural service matings and analysed accurately and objectively by ASMA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal Reproduction Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 1 1997


  • ASMA
  • Horse
  • Spermatozoa-morphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics


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