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ICSI outcome in patients with high DNA fragmentation: Testicular versus ejaculated spermatozoa.

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1. Urology Department, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar.
2. Andrology Department, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
3. Assisted Conception Unit, Women Hospital, Doha, Qatar.

Abstract: Sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) has emerged as an important biomarker in the assessment of male fertility potential with contradictory results regarding its effect on ICSI. The aim of this study was to evaluate intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) outcomes in male patients with high SDF using testicular versus ejaculated spermatozoa. This is a prospective study on 36 men with high-SDF levels who had a previous ICSI cycle from their ejaculates. A subsequent ICSI cycle was performed using spermatozoa retrieved through testicular sperm aspiration. Results of the prior ejaculate ICSI were compared with those of the TESA-ICSI. The mean (SD) SDF level was 56.36% (15.3%). Overall, there was no difference in the fertilization rate and embryo grading using ejaculate and testicular spermatozoa (46.4% vs. 47.8%, 50.2% vs. 53.4% respectively). However, clinical pregnancy was significantly higher in TESA group compared to ejaculated group (38.89% [14 of 36] vs. 13.8% [five of 36]). Moreover, 17 live births were documented in TESA group, and only three live births were documented in ejaculate group (p < .0001). We concluded that the use of testicular spermatozoa for ICSI significantly increases clinical pregnancy rate as well as live-birth rate in patients with high SDF.