Is intracytoplasmic sperm (ICSI) better than traditional in vitro fertilization (IVF): confirmation of higher blastocyst rates per oocyte using a split insemination design.

Research paper by May-Tal MT Sauerbrun-Cutler, Warren J WJ Huber, Phinnara P Has, Chloe C Shen, Richard R Hackett, Ruben R Alvero, Shunping S Wang

Indexed on: 22 May '20Published on: 22 May '20Published in: Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics


To explore the effects of traditional vs. intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) insemination method on the outcome of high-quality blastocyst development in a split sibling oocyte cohort. In this retrospective cohort study, we analyzed 62 ICSI/IVF split cycles. Sibling oocytes were randomly assigned to ICSI or IVF insemination. Two hundred thirty-four ICSI-only cycles and 152 IVF-only cycles were also analyzed for comparison. Blastocysts were graded by Gardner's embryo grading and were considered a high-quality blastocyst if 3BB or better (Gardner 1999). In the ICSI/IVF split group, (1) ICSI oocytes had a higher fertilization rate per oocyte allocated (73% vs 62%, p < 0.001), (2) more high-quality day 2 embryos (69% vs 55%, p < 0.005), (3) ICSI oocytes had a lower blastulation rate per 2PN (46% vs 54%, p < 0.05), but a higher blastulation rate when calculated per oocyte allocated (40% vs 32%, p < 0.05). The ICSI-only group had a lower fertilization rate (65% vs 70%, p < 0.001) but more high-quality day 2 embryos in comparison to the IVF-only group (68% vs 64%, p < .05). The total high-quality blastulation rate was higher for the IVF-only group per 2PN (49% vs 43%, p < 0.05) and per oocyte retrieved (34% vs 28%, p < 0.05). This distinctive IVF/ICSI sibling oocyte split design demonstrated a higher-quality blastulation rate in the IVF group compared to the ICSI group when calculated per 2PN, but not per oocyte allocated to each insemination procedure.