Obstetric and neo-natal outcomes of ICSI cycles using pentoxifylline to identify viable spermatozoa in patients with immotile spermatozoa

Purificación Navas, Alessio Paffoni, Giulia Intra, Antonio González-Utor, Ana Clavero, Maria Carmen Gonzalvo, Rocío Díaz, Rocío Peña, Liliana Restelli, Edgardo Somigliana, Enrico Papaleo, Jose A. Castilla, Paola Viganò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pentoxifylline (PF) represents an effective tool in stimulating motility and identifying viable spermatozoa in intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) patients presenting exclusively with immotile spermatozoa. However, its use is not universally accepted for its possible detrimental effects on oocytes, embryos or newborns. To evaluate whether PF use may affect obstetrical/neo-natal outcomes, 102 patients achieving a clinical pregnancy after a PF-ICSI in four IVF units in Spain and Italy were followed up after delivery. Neo-natal malformations were classified according to the World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10, range Q00-Q99). Malformation rate was compared with data published by other groups regarding children conceived by conventional IVF or ICSI reporting a 5.3% and 4.4% frequency of ICD-10 codes, respectively. Of 134 clinical pregnancies, 122 babies (82 singletons and 40 twins) were registered. Among singletons, the rates of low birthweight (≤2500 g) and preterm birth (<37 weeks) were 6.1% and12%, respectively. Regarding malformation rate per live births, 4/122 (3.3%, 95% confidence interval: 0.9–8.2%) babies with ICD-10 malformations were recorded. This is the first report on neo-natal outcomes deriving from PF-ICSI. Although based on a limited cohort, results do not suggest an increase of adverse outcomes, including malformation rates, following this procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-421
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017


  • ICSI
  • IVF
  • Low birthweight
  • Malformations
  • Pentoxifylline
  • Preterm birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Developmental Biology


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