An official journal of the Society for Biology of Reproduction and the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn

June 2015 (No. 1)

The effect of sperm DNA fragmentation on the dynamics of the embryonic development in intracytoplasmatic sperm injection

Artur Wdowiak a, Szymon Bakalczuk b, Grzegorz Bakalczuk c,*

a Diagnostic Techniques Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University, Lublin, Poland

b Non-Public Health Care Unit ‘Ovum Reproduction and Andrology’, Lublin, Poland

c Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Obstetric-Gynaecological Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University, Lublin, Poland

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The genetic integrity of sperm DNA can contribute to the infertility problems experienced by couples. Sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) is the most common DNA abnormality in male gametes, and yet its effect on embryo kinetics has not been widely studied. Embryo morphokinetic parameters during the first days of embryo culture after intracytoplasmatic sperm injection (ICSI) are weakly predictive of both embryo development and pregnancy outcome. This study investigated the effect of SDF on embryo morphokinetic parameters following ICSI. The DNA fragmentation index (DFI) in spermatozoa from all males in the study (n = 165) was determined before ICSI and the morphokinetic parameters of the embryos (n = 165) were monitored via time-lapse recording. We found that a low DFI index in spermatozoa corresponded with embryos that reached the blastocyst stage at a faster rate after ICSI. Overall, lower SDF levels were also found in the group of patients that achieved pregnancy. Thus, higher SDF levels can slow down embryo morphokinetic parameters, and may be predictive of pregnancy outcomes after ICSI.

Reproductive Biology 2015, 15 (2):

* Corresponding author at: 20-095 Lublin, ul. Sapiehy 2/60, Poland. E-mail address: (G. Bakalczuk).