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J Clin Oncol. 2002 Feb 15;20(4):930-6.

Postchemotherapy ejaculatory azoospermia: fatherhood with sperm from testis tissue with intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

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Department of Urology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Clin Oncol 2002 Aug 1;20(15):3361. Masters V [corrected to Master V].



To define the success of testis sperm extraction (TESE) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in azoospermic men with a history of chemotherapy.


In a retrospective study, 23 men with ejaculatory azoospermia and a history of chemotherapy underwent TESE in a search for usable spermatozoa. In six patients cryopreserved tissue and in nine patients fresh tissue provided sperm for an ICSI cycle. Histologic analysis of the testis was performed in all patients. The presence or absence of sperm, fertilization rates with ICSI, and final outcomes of pregnancy were recorded.


Spermatozoa were found on TESE in 15 (65.2%) of 23 men. On histopathology, the predominant pattern observed was Sertoli cell only (47.8%), followed by hypospermatogenesis (30.4%), mixed (17.4%), and late maturation arrest (4.3%). The fertilization rate was 65.2%, and ongoing/delivered pregnancies occurred in 30.8% of cycles. Six healthy boys and four healthy girls have been born to date.


Men who are azoospermic and have had prior cytotoxic therapy make up a small subgroup of males with nonobstructive azoospermia. It is important to define and characterize this subgroup and better define their true fertility potential. Approximately two thirds of these men have retrievable testis sperm, which may be used with ICSI to have healthy offspring. This exciting avenue for paternity has heretofore not been available to such patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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