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Fertil Steril. 2003 Dec;80(6):1388-97.

A prospective longitudinal study of the physical, psychomotor, and intellectual development of singleton children up to 5 years who were conceived by intracytoplasmic sperm injection compared with children conceived spontaneously and by in vitro fertilization.

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Research Laboratory on Human Reproduction, Faculty of Medicine, French Speaking Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium.



To assess the somatic, psychomotor, and intellectual development of children conceived through intracytoplasmic single sperm injection (ICSI) over the whole preschool period.


Prospective, controlled, cohort study.


Fertility clinic in Brussels, Belgium.


Sixty-six ICSI-conceived children prospectively compared with 52 IVF-conceived and 59 spontaneously conceived children. All children were full-term singletons.


Home visits by a trained psychologist. Standardized interviews. Assessments using the revised Brunet-L├ęzine scale and the revised Wechsler preschool and primary scale of intelligence.


Physical growth and general health. Formal developmental and intellectual assessments.


Children conceived by ICSI were healthy: no significant differences appeared in the incidence of combined congenital malformations (11.3%), health problems (44.1%), surgical interventions (18.6%), and hospitalizations (6.8%), nor for the developmental assessments (mean developmental quotient at 9 months: 93.9; at 18 months: 102.0). For the intellectual assessments, the between-group differences disappeared when adjusted for levels of parental education (mean intelligence quotient at 3 years: 97.0; at 5 years: 103.3).


This pilot study shows that throughout the preschool period, ICSI-conceived children have psychomotor and intellectual development similar to that of IVF-conceived and spontaneously conceived children. These conclusions need to be confirmed by multicenter studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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