Successful pregnancy after intracytoplasmic sperm injection with testicular spermatozoa transported only under refrigeration



This case report describes two successful pregnancies after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with testicular spermatozoa that were transported under refrigeration.


Two first-time couples consulted our clinic concerned about their primary infertility. No sperm were present in the semen samples from either of the husbands and they were referred to the urology department (UD) of a neighbouring hospital. At the UD, seminiferous tubules were obtained by testicular sperm extraction. The tissue samples were put in a centrifuge tube with phosphate-buffered saline at 6°C and placed with refrigerant in a cushioned styrofoam box that was then transported to our clinic. Immediately upon arrival at our clinic, testicular spermatozoa were extracted. On the same day, ovum pickup was performed and mature oocytes were extracted that were then inseminated by conventional ICSI. Fertilized eggs were cultured for 2 days, and then cleaved embryos were cryopreserved. In one case after 4 months and in the other case after 2 months of cryopreservation, the frozen-thawed embryos were transferred.


Both patients became pregnant and normal, healthy babies were born.


These results suggest that cases of obstructive azoospermia can be treated with ICSI by refrigerated transport of the seminiferous tubules, in cooperation with a UD, in a small single departmental obstetrics and gynecology clinic.

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Correspondence to Taketo Inoue.

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Inoue, T., Sugimoto, H., Okubo, K. et al. Successful pregnancy after intracytoplasmic sperm injection with testicular spermatozoa transported only under refrigeration. Reprod Med Biol 9, 173–177 (2010).

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  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection
  • Obstructive azoospermia
  • Refrigerated transport
  • Seminiferous tubules
  • Testicular sperm extraction