Percoll gradient centrifugation can be omitted in sperm preparation for intracytoplasmic sperm injection

A. De Vos, Z. R. Nagy, H. Van de Velde, H. Joris, G. Bocken, A. Van Steirteghem

Research output: Article

29 Citations (Scopus)


Prior to intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), seminal fluid is currently washed out from the ejaculated semen and further sperm selection is carried out by a discontinuous Percoll gradient. Possible deleterious effects from the sperm-separating substance Percoll on sperm function or embryo cleavage after in-vitro fertilization (IVF) have, to our knowledge, not yet been reported and the use of Percoll has been widely accepted in IVF. In this study, we examined whether the omission of the Percoll step in the sperm preparation has any influence on the outcome of the ICSI procedure. Two methods of sperm preparation for ICSI were compared in a controlled study on sibling oocytes: washing the semen sample once, followed by a Percoll gradient centrifugation versus washing the sperm sample twice without a Percoll gradient centrifugation. The mean fertilization rates were similar for the two sperm preparation methods: 78.2 ± 21.4 and 75.0 ± 24.1% respectively of the intact oocytes displaying two pronuclei. Cleavage rates did not differ statistically between the two groups. Whereas in both groups similar percentages of excellent, good and poor quality embryos were obtained, the percentage of fair quality embryos was significantly higher in the group without Percoll (16.3 ± 20.1 versus 9.1 ± 15.7%). However, no statistical differences were observed in either the percentage of transferable embryos or in the percentage of embryos actually transferred or frozen in the two groups. In conclusion, spermatozoa from ejaculates that are washed out from the seminal fluid without any further selection can be used for ICSI without any adverse effect on fertilization and embryo cleavage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1980-1984
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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