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March 26, 1997

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection and Potential Transmission of Genetic Disease

Author Affiliations

Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Tex

JAMA. 1997;277(12):963-964. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540360031020

To the Editor.  —Dr Palermo and colleagues1 recently reported that when intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) was used to produce pregnancy, the pregnancies, frequency of chromosomal abnormalities, and incidence of congenital abnormalities in the babies conceived in such a manner were comparable to those conceived with standard in vitro fertilization (IVF).Although this study is reassuring, its conclusions may lead to the injudicious, and sometimes inappropriate, use of ICSI and similar technology, ie, round spermatid nuclear injection. With the advent of ICSI combined with testicular sperm extraction as a therapeutic option, men with clinical azoospermia, who were once thought to be sterile and untreatable, now have the ability to procreate.A major concern with ICSI is the potential transmission of genetic disease to offspring.2 A host of known genetic diseases and syndromes can cause male infertility, and more are yet to be delineated. With the use of ICSI, these