To do or not to do: IVF and ICSI in chronic hepatitis B virus carriers

S.P. Lutgens, E.C. Nelissen*, I.H.M. van Loo, G.H. Koek, J.G. Derhaag, G.A.J. Dunselman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Several assisted reproduction procedures, such as IVF and ICSI, are available for a variety of infertility problems. In fertility clinics, patients are screened for blood-borne viral infections, including hepatitis B virus (HBV). Reasons for screening are prevention of vertical transmission and laboratory safety. We present the case of a 26-year-old female patient with a chronic HBV infection, whose husband tested negative for hepatitis B. She and her husband were referred to our fertility clinic because of subfertility. Analysis of the husband's semen indicated the necessity of an ICSI procedure. The current Dutch guidelines advise against ICSI in chronic HBV carriers, since the risks and effects of chromosomal integration of HBV DNA in the fetus are not well-known. In this article, we review the scientific evidence for the risk of introducing HBV virus into the oocyte and subsequent integration of HBV DNA into the human genome, and debate the question of whether to do, or not to do, IVF and ICSI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2676-8
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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