Infliximab May Affect Semen Quality
Infliximab can effectively treat Crohn'sdisease. Until now, however, no studieshad been performed to assess the effectof infliximab on semen quality in men ofreproductive age.
In the April 2005 issue of InflammatoryBowel Diseases, Uma Mahadevan, MD,and colleagues presented results from asmall study (n = 10) of men receiving infliximabfor the treatment of Crohn's disease,indeterminate colitis, or ulcerativecolitis. Seven of the patients were inremission and receiving maintenance infliximabtherapy. The other 3 patients, withmoderate-to-severe illness, were receivingtheir initial infliximab treatments. Eachpatient provided semen samples on 2dates preceding infusion and 1 sample aweek after infusion.
Semen volume after infusion of infliximabwas significantly increased in allpatients (P = .013), compared with preinfusionsamples. In addition, decreasedsperm motility was observed after treatment(P = .061). Sperm development appearedto be affected in patients receivingmaintenance therapy. The number of normaloval forms was significantly reduced(P = .038) after infliximab infusion. Thesefindings suggest that infliximab therapymay affect sperm development and motilityand, therefore, could affect fertility. Furtherinvestigations are warranted.