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J Assist Reprod Genet. 2013 Apr;30(4):479-85. doi: 10.1007/s10815-013-9962-8. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

Sperm selection using magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS) in assisted reproduction: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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  • 1Hospital Universitari del Mar, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.



To determine whether the use of Magnetic Activated Cell Sorting (MACS) as a sperm selection technique improves ART success rates in couples undergoing assisted reproduction treatment.


Systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective randomized trials. Two reviewers conducted study selection and data extraction independently.


Five studies (prospective randomized trials) that comprised 499 patients were included. Sperm selection using MACS resulted in statistically significant differences in pregnancy rates when compared with density gradient centrifugation and swim-up techniques (RR=1.50, 95 % CI 1.14-1.98). No differences were found between the groups according to the implantation (RR=1.03, 95 % CI 0.80-1.31) and miscarriage (RR=2.00, 95 % CI 0.19-20.90) rates.


MACS appears to be a safe and efficient method to select functional sperm with consistently good results. This technique may improve pregnancy rates when used to complement standard sperm selection methods in ART.

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