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Validity and Cost-Effectiveness of Antisperm Antibody Testing Before In Vitro Fertilization

Fertility and Sterility
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0015-0282(98)00034-x
  • Antisperm Antibodies
  • In Vitro Fertilization
  • Fertilization
  • Human
  • Infertility
  • Hospital Charges
  • Medicine


Abstract Objective: To determine the usefulness of and cost-effectiveness of antisperm antibody testing in the prediction of poor fertilization rates in couples undergoing IVF. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: A hospital-based reproductive endocrinology and infertility practice. Patient(s): Male partners of 251 couples undergoing IVF between 1992 and 1997. Main Outcome Measure(s): Fertilization rates in couples undergoing conventional IVF. Result(s): One hundred nineteen couples were evaluated for antisperm antibodies; fertilization rates were similar in those couples whose husbands were and were not tested (64% versus 68%). Antisperm antibodies were detected in 16 men. Four (25%) of the 16 couples whose husbands had antisperm antibodies fertilized ≤50% of oocytes, compared with 31 (30%) of the 103 couples whose husbands did not have these antibodies. Overall, 21 couples (8.4%) experienced complete fertilization failure. In a program that included antisperm antibody testing for selected couples and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) for those who tested positive, it would cost $11,735 to prevent a fertilization failure (assuming ICSI were 100% effective), whereas it would cost $9,250 to perform ICSI in a second IVF cycle for those who initially failed. Conclusion(s): In this practice setting, antisperm antibody testing has low sensitivity in predicting low or no fertilization and does not appear to be cost-effective when selectively ordered as part of an IVF workup.

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