Maryse Bonduelle Team

Follow-up of children born after assisted reproductive technology

Medical follow-up of ART children

Principal Investigators: Maryse Bonduelle

Research nurses:Andrea Buysse


When IVF was introduced at the centre of Reproductive Medicine, many questions on the outcome of IVF children were unsolved. The aim was to evaluate the outcome of all children born after IVF and later after all ART techniques in order to address specific questions on safety. A systematic evaluation of the children was therefore needed. The database of all children born after ART is also a start for numerous international projects and a tool for long term follow-up studies. It also allows us to monitor differences in outcome if any modifications or new techniques (e.g. vitrification) are introduced.


To evaluate safety of different ART techniques by assessing the genetic, clinical and psycho-motor outcomes in early childhood.


Data are collected from the fertility clinic and from questionnaires filled out by obstetricians and parents. Children are examined in the first and the second year of life at the Centre of Medical Genetics. Special attention is given to major and minor malformations and evaluation of psycho-motor development. A prenatal or if possible, a postnatal karyotype is performed in higher risk situations.


Comparative studies indicate differences between the outcome of ART pregnancies and spontaneous pregnancies: children born after ART have a higher dysmaturity rate, prematurity rate and more major malformations. No major differences were found between ICSI and IVF children. In ICSI children a higher frequency of ”de novo” chromosomal abnormalities was observed. In children born after cryopreservation, prenatal and neonatal outcome results were comparable in cryo ICSI versus cryo IVF. In the total cryo group versus the total fresh group, we found a higher mean birthweight in singletons and a higher major malformation rate in liveborns. This higher malformation rate was specifically found in cryo ICSI compared to fresh ICSI and to cryo IVF. By monitoring all children born after ART at the UZ Brussel, we are able to detect early and subtle differences between the different ART techniques and to evaluate very efficiently new developments in ART.


M. Bonduelle, L. Van Landuyt, D. Stoop, H. Van de Velde, G. Verheyen, P. Haentjens, S. Desmyttere (2011). Neonatal oucome of 99 children conceived after transfer of vitrified day 5 embryos compared to children born after intracytoplasmic sperm injection.Human Reproduction 26, S1, i276 P-399.

M. Bonduelle, I. Liebaers, V. Deketelaere, M.P. Derde, M. Camus, P. Devroey and A.C. Van Steirteghem (2002). Neonatal data on a cohort op 2889 infants born after ICSI (1991-1999) and of 2995 infants born after IVF (1983-1999). Hum. Reprod. 17 : 671-694, 2002.

M. Bonduelle, E. Van Assche, H. Joris, K. Keymolen, P. Devroey, A.C. Van Steirteghem and I. Liebaers (2002). Prenatal testing in ICSI pregnancies: incidence of chromosomal anomalies in 1586 karyotypes and relation to sperm parameters. Hum. Reprod. 17 : 2600-2614.

J. Barnes, A.G. Sutcliffe, I. Ponjaert, A. Loft, U. Wennerholm, B.V. Tarlatzis,X. Kantaris, B. Hagbert, M. Bonduelle (2004). The influence of assisted reproduction on family functioning and children’s socio-emotional development: results from a European study Hum. Reprod. 19 : 1480-1487.

I. Ponjaert-Kristoffersen, M. Bonduelle, J. Barnes, J. Nekkebroeck, A. Loft, U.B. Wennerholm, B.C. Tarlatzis, C. Peters, B.S. Hagberg, A. Berner and A.G. Sutcliffe (2005) International collaborative study of intracytoplasmic sperm injection-conceived, in vitro fertilization-conceived, and naturally conceived 5 year-old child outcomes : cognitive and motor assessments. Ped. 115: 283-289.

U.B. Wennerholm, M. Bonduelle, A. Sutcliffe, C. Bergh, A. Niklasson, B. Tarlatzis, C. Mau, C. Peters, A.Victorin Cederqvist, A. Balaska, A. Loft (2006). No influence of sperm count on growth and cognitive development in children born after assisted reproductive therapy. Hum. Reprod. 2: 1514-1520.

M Bonduelle, P Braude, J Collins, P Devroey, H Evers, B Fauser, I Liebaers, G Palermo, A Templeton, DT Baird, PG Crosignani, E Diczfalusy, K Diedrich, L Fraser, L Gianaroli, G Ragni, A Sunde, B Tarlatzis, A Van Steirteghem (2007). Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in 2006: Evidence and Evolution. Hum. Reprod Update: 13:515-526.

Keymolen K, Goossens V, De Rycke M, Sermon K, Boelaert K, Bonduelle M, Van Steirteghem A, Liebaers I. (2007). Clinical outcome of preimplantation genetic diagnosis for cystic fibrosis: the Brussels' experience.Eur J Hum Genet. 2007 Jul;15(7):752-8.

De Schrijver F, Tournaye H, Liebaers I, Devroey P, Haentjes P, Bonduelle M. Neonatal data on 530 children born after ICSI using testicular spermatozoa and 194 children born after ICSI using epididmal spermatozoa (2008). 24th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, Barcelona, Spain, July 6-9. Clinical science award for oral publication.

M. Bonduelle, L. Van Landuyt, D. Stoop, H. Van de Velde, G. Verheyen, P. Haentjens, S. Desmyttere (2011). Neonatal oucome of 99 children conceived after transfer of vitrified day 5 embryos compared to children born after intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Human Reproduction 26, S1 2011- i276 P-399.

PhD thesis

ICSI-related risk for the children. Mary-Louise Bonduelle (2003)

Promotor I: Liebaers. Copromotor: P Devroey, A Van Steirteghem

An international collaborative study of intracytoplasmic sperm injection child and family outcomes- ICSI CFO. Alastair G Sutcliffe (2008)

Promotor: M Bonduelle

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VUB • Faculty of Medicine & Pharmacy • Laarbeeklaan 103 • B-1090 Brussel, Belgium
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