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N-acetyl cysteine: could it be an effective adjuvant therapy in ICSI cycles? A preliminary study.

Author(s): Elgindy EA, El-Huseiny AM, Mostafa MI, Gaballah AM, Ahmed TA

Affiliation(s): Al-Banoon Fertility Center, Zagazig, Egypt; Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Zagazig University School of Medicine, Zagazig, Egypt.

Publication date & source: 2010-06, Reprod Biomed Online., 20(6):789-96. Epub 2010 Mar 6.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

This randomized controlled trial tested the hypothesis that addition of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) can increase the probability of pregnancy in intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles using the long agonist protocol. Women undergoing ICSI cycles due to male factor were randomly assigned to receive either long protocol (group A, 38 women) or long protocol plus NAC (group B, 38 women). Clinical pregnancy was the primary outcome. Granulosa cell apoptosis, fertilization rate, number of grade-one embryos and ongoing pregnancy were the secondary outcomes. Clinical pregnancy rate was insignificantly higher in NAC group (52.6%) than control (47.4%). Early and late apoptosis were also insignificantly lower in group B than in group A. Irrespective of the used protocol, there was significant negative correlation between both early and late apoptosis and fertilization rate (both P<0.001) and the number of good-quality embryos (P=0.007 and P<0.001, respectively). Pregnant patients had significantly lower early and late apoptosis than those who didn't achieve pregnancy (P<0.001). In conclusion, NAC supplementation did not significantly increase the probability of pregnancy in ICSI cycles using long agonist protocol. It appears that granulosa cell apoptosis may be an important prognosticator for ICSI cycle outcome. 2010 Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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