Ultrastructural characterization of whole hydrosalpinx from infertile Chinese women


Corresponding author. Tel.: +852 2609 6839; fax: +852 2603 5022. hsiaocchan@cuhk.edu.hk


Hydrosalpinx (HSP) has been shown to be detrimental to the outcome of assisted reproduction, but little is known of its pathology. This prospective study examined and detailed ultrastructural characterization of HSP of infertile women presenting for assisted reproductive treatments. Both light and electron microscopies were used to characterize HSP. Hematoxylin and eosin staining of HSP showed areas without epithelial cell lining or with abnormalities such as flattening of the epithelial layer and exfoliation of epithelial cells with occasional normal columnar epithelial lining. HSP muscle fibers were atrophic and occasionally replaced by fibrous tissues, or separated by areas of severe edema. Inflammatory cells could be found in hydrosalpinx fluid (HF) in the lumen in areas with flattened to no epithelial cells, without epithelial lining, as well as in dilated blood vessels and/or lymph vessels. Scanning electron microscopy of the epithelial surface revealed epithelial denudation-severe loss of both cilia and microvilli and stomata exuding globular bodies on eroded ampulla surfaces. Severe chronic inflammation and damage to the epithelial lining and musculature of Fallopian tubes and the presence of inflammatory cells provides an explanation for HF formation, and thus for the detrimental effects of HF on reproductive processes and IVF outcome.