Validity and cost-effectiveness of antisperm antibody testing before in vitro fertilization.
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 < or = 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.
Culligan, PJ; Crane, MM; Boone, WR; Allen, TC; Price, TM; Blauer, KL
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