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Advances in Urology
Volume 2012, Article ID 420893, 11 pages
Review Article

Correlations between Different Heavy Metals in Diverse Body Fluids: Studies of Human Semen Quality

1Public Health and Epidemiology Research Group, Division of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Murcia, Espinardo 30100, Murcia, Spain
2Center of Operations Research, Miguel Hernández University, 03202 Elche, Spain
3Department of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Technical University of Cartagena, Cartagena 30202, Spain
4Department of Reproductive Biology and Medicine, Instituto Bernabeu, Alicante 03016, Spain
5Reproductive Medicine Chair, Miguel Hernández University-Instituto Bernabeu, Alicante 03016, Spain
6Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona 08036, Spain

Received 21 August 2011; Accepted 9 October 2011

Academic Editor: Edward Kim

Copyright © 2012 Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It has been hypothesized that exposure to heavy metals may impair male reproduction. To measure the effect produced by low doses of heavy metals on semen parameters, it is necessary to clarify in which body fluids those measurements must be performed. Sixty-one men attending infertility clinics participated in our study. Concentrations of lead, cadmium, and mercury were measured in whole blood, blood plasma, and seminal plasma using spectroanalytical and electrochemical methods. Semen analyses were performed according to World Health Organization criteria. For statistical analysis, Spearman's rank correlations, mean comparison tests, and discriminant analysis were calculated. Significant correlations between the measured concentrations of the three heavy metals in the same biological fluids were observed. However, no similar relationship was seen when comparing the concentrations in different body fluids of the same metal. According to our results and previous publications, seminal plasma might be the best body fluid for assessing impairment of human semen parameters.