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Hum Reprod. 1999 Jul;14(7):1794-801.

Testicular sperm retrieval and cryopreservation prior to initiating ovarian stimulation as the first line approach in patients with non-obstructive azoospermia.

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The IVF Unit and The Institute for the Study of Fertility, Lis Maternity Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, affiliated to the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.


The potency for fertilization and successful implantation was compared between fresh and cryopreserved testicular spermatozoa obtained from the same patient with non-obstructive azoospermia. Spermatozoa cryopreserved at the outset were also evaluated. Non-obstructive azoospermic men (n = 55) underwent testicular sperm extraction (TESE); mature spermatozoa were found in 33 (60%) of them. Of 57 intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles in 25 patients, 15 used fresh spermatozoa (14 patients, group 1), 24 used the excess spermatozoa cryopreserved after 'fresh' ICSI (11 couples who did not conceive in the 'fresh' cycle, group 2) and 18 cycles used cryopreserved spermatozoa at the outset (11 other patients, group 3). Fertilization, cleavage, embryo quality, implantation and take home baby rates were not significantly different in groups 1 and 2, and 6/14 couples ultimately had healthy babies (42.8% cumulative take home baby rate per TESE). In group 3, neither the fertilization rate, embryo development, pregnancy nor implantation rates per embryo transfer were significantly different from groups 1 and 2. The cumulative delivery and ongoing pregnancy rate in this group was 36. 4%. Cryopreservation did not impair the availability of motile spermatozoa for ICSI. When immotile spermatozoa were injected, however, fertilization rate decreased dramatically. Since criteria for predicting the presence of spermatozoa in the testicular tissue of patients with non-obstructive azoospermia are inadequate, it is suggested that TESE be performed prior to initiating ovarian stimulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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