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This study is to determine if sperm mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA CN) is associated with fertilization, blastulation, blastocyst euploidy, and live birth rates in in vitro fertilization (IVF) with ICSI cycles. This is a cohort study conducted on stored sperm samples which were collected prospectively and used to create blastocysts transferred in a couple's first ICSI transfer cycle between 2007 and 2013 at a single large infertility center. Samples from ICSI cycles utilizing surgical or cryopreserved sperm or day 3 embryo biopsy were excluded. The primary outcome was live birth rate. Secondary outcomes included fertilization, usable blastocyst development, and blastocyst euploidy rates. Unique sperm samples used to create transferred embryos were identified. Mitochondrial DNA CN was evaluated using TaqMan® quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays normalized to a nuclear control for relative quantitation. Linear regression and mixed effects logistic regression used were appropriate. A total of 2062 unique sperm samples used to create transferred embryos were included. Lower relative sperm mtDNA content was associated with increased pre-wash sperm motility (p < 0.001). No significant association was identified between sperm mtDNA CN and fertilization (p = 0.40), usable blastocyst development (p = 0.36), blastocyst euploid (p = 0.10), and live birth rates (p = 0.42) while adjusting for sperm pre-wash motility and maternal age. Sperm mtDNA CN is not prognostic of fertilization, usable blastocyst development, euploidy and live birth rates in an infertile population undergoing IVF with ICSI.

Original publication




Journal article


Reprod Sci

Publication Date



ICSI cycle outcomes, Male infertility, Pregnancy outcomes, Sperm mitochondrial DNA copy number, Sperm quality