Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) represents a more sophisticated way of ICSI whereby, prior to injection, the spermatozoon is selected at higher magnification. Doing so, the spermatozoon can be evaluated for fine integrity of its nucleus and the injection of a normal spermatozoon with a vacuole-free head can be assured.
Several comparative studies have indicated that the use of high-magnification sperm selection was associated with both higher pregnancy and delivery rates, whereas also lower miscarriage rates were observed. However, still to date randomized, well-powered studies to confirm these findings are scarce and show conflicting results. Hence, the most relevant indications for IMSI still remain to be determined. Two groups of patients have been put forward i.e. severe male-factor infertility patients and patients with a history of repeated ICSI failures. However, for both groups limited to no proof of any benefit does exist.