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Reprod Biomed Online. 2004 Jul;9(1):91-101.

Medical follow-up study of 5-year-old ICSI children.

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  • 1Centre for Medical Genetics, Dutch-Speaking University Hospital of Brussels, Laarbeeklaan, 101, 1090 Brussels, Belgium.


Children born after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) are still a matter of concern. The purposes of the present study were to investigate the physical outcome in 5-year-old children born after ICSI and compare them with children born after spontaneous conception. Three hundred singleton children from Belgium, Sweden and the USA, born after ICSI, were matched by maternal age, child age and gender. In one centre, matching was also performed for maternal education. The main end-point was growth. Secondary end-points were general health, e.g. common diseases, chronic illnesses, surgical interventions and physical/neurological examinations. Standard deviation scores assessed growth. Growth assessed as stature at follow-up was similar in the two groups, despite a higher rate of preterm birth and low birth weight in the ICSI children. Common diseases and chronic illnesses occurred at similar rates in both groups. More ICSI children underwent surgical interventions and required other therapy e. g. physiotherapy and dietary therapy. Physical/neurological examinations revealed few abnormalities in either group. In conclusion, infertility treatment by ICSI does not adversely affect growth during childhood. The children's general health seems satisfactory.

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