Purpose: We assessed the risk of exstrophy-epispadias complex in children conceived by in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
Materials and Methods: Data from the German Network for Congenital Uro-REctal malformations were compared to nationwide data from the German In Vitro Fertilization Register and the German Federal Statistical Office. Odds ratios (95% CI) were determined to quantify associations using logistic regression.
Results: A total of 123 patients with exstrophy-epispadias complex born in Germany between 1997 and 2011 were recruited through participating departments of pediatric urology and pediatric surgery throughout the country as well as the German self-help organizations Blasenekstrophie/Epispadie e.V. and Kloakenekstrophie. All German live births (10,069,986) between 1997 and 2010 comprised the controls. Overall, 12 subjects (10%) and 129,982 controls (1%) were conceived by in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Conception by assisted reproductive technique was associated with a more than eightfold increased risk of exstrophy-epispadias complex compared to spontaneous conception (OR 8.3, 95% CI 4.6-15.0, p 〈 0.001). Separate analyses showed a significantly increased risk of exstrophy-epispadias complex in children conceived by in vitro fertilization (OR 14.0, 95% CI 6.5-30.0, p 〈 0.0001) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (OR 5.3, 95% CI 2.2-12.9, p 〈 0.0001).
Conclusions: This study provides evidence that assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection are associated with a markedly increased risk of having a child born with exstrophy-epispadias complex. However, it remains unclear whether this finding may be due to assisted reproduction per se and/or underlying infertility/subfertility etiology or parent characteristics.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published