Spindle imaging: A new marker for optimal timing of ICSI?

Y. Cohen, M. Malcov, T. Schwartz, N. Mey-Raz, A. Carmon, T. Cohen, J. B. Lessing, A. A. Amit, F. Azem*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The LC Polscope facilitates visualization of the meiotic spindle in human oocyte. This study aimed to investigate meiotic spindle assembly in correlation to time elapsed after HCG administration, and to determine whether spindle imaging may serve to indicate the likelihood of fertilization and embryo cleavage. Methods: Metaphase II (MII) oocytes from 103 couples who were being treated for male infertility were imaged with the Polscope prior to sperm injection. Spindle imaging was correlated to time elapsed from HCG administration, fertilization rate and embryo cleavage. The main outcome measures were spindle visualization, fertilization and embryo cleavage on day 3. Results: A total of 770 MII oocytes were imaged. A spindle was imaged in a significantly higher number of oocytes from ≥38 h after HCG administration compared with those in the <38 h group (78.1-81.5% versus 61.6%; P < 0.001). The fertilization rate in oocytes with a visible spindle was statistically higher compared with oocytes in which spindle could not be detected (70.4% versus 62.2%; P = 0.035). We found no relationship between spindle imaging and embryo cleavage on day 3. Conclusions: Spindle imaging, in addition to first polar body appearance, is an accurate indicator for oocyte maturity. We suggest that spindle imaging be performed prior to sperm injection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-654
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • HCG
  • ICSI
  • Oocytes
  • Polscope
  • Spindle


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