Are intracytoplasmic sperm injection and high serum estradiol compounding risk factors for adverse obstetric outcomes in assisted reproductive technology?

High serum E2 level on the last day of assisted reproductive technology stimulation was associated with adverse obstetric outcomes related to placentation with intracytoplasmic sperm injection, but not conventional in vitro fertilization.

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Volume 106, Issue 2, Pages 363-370


Greene Donald Royster IV, M.D., Kavitha Krishnamoorthy, M.D., John M. Csokmay, M.D., Belinda J. Yauger, M.D., Rebecca J. Chason, M.D., Alan H. DeCherney, M.D., Erin F. Wolff, M.D., Micah J. Hill, D.O.



To evaluate whether intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) use and E2 on the final day of assisted reproductive technology (ART) stimulation are associated with adverse obstetric complications related to placentation.


Retrospective cohort study.


Large private ART practice.


A total of 383 women who underwent ART resulting in a singleton live birth.



Main Outcome Measure(s)

Adverse placental outcomes composed of placenta accreta, placental abruption, placenta previa, intrauterine growth restriction, preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and small for gestational age infants.


Patients with adverse placental outcomes had higher peak serum E2 levels and were three times more likely to have used ICSI. Adverse placental outcomes were associated with increasing E2 (odds ratio 1.36, 95% confidence interval 1.13–1.65) and ICSI (odds ratio 3.86, 95% confidence interval 1.61–9.27). Adverse outcomes increased when E2 was >3,000 pg/mL and continued to increase in a linear fashion until E2 was >5,000 pg/mL. The association of ICSI with adverse outcomes was independent of male factor infertility. Interaction testing suggested the adverse effect of E2 was primarily seen in ICSI cycles, but not in conventional IVF cycles. Estradiol >5,000 pg/mL was associated with adverse placental events in 36% of all ART cycles and 52% of ICSI cycles.


ICSI and elevated E2 on the day of hCG trigger were associated with adverse obstetric outcomes related to placentation. The finding of a potential interaction of E2 and ICSI with adverse placental events is novel and warrants further investigation.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.