CRC - Handbook of the Assisted Reproduction Laboratory

Organization: CRC
Publication Date: 15 May 2000
Page Count: 417


The field of reproductive biology and medicine has exploded over the past decade. With the advent of in vitro fertilization and other associated technologies (now termed collectively Assisted Reproductive Technologies, or ART), our understanding of the reproductive system in both men and women has progressed exponentially. Along with this increase in knowledge, new and advanced laboratories have emerged to perform techniques aimed at diagnosing and treating infertility problems. As these laboratories multiply, so does the need for properly trained clinical laboratorians. In many cases, the ART laboratories are staffed with biologists well trained in reproductive research techniques, but lacking the necessary clinical laboratory technical and administrative skills to manage these laboratories. An earlier CRC Press publication, Handbook of the Laboratory Diagnosis and Treatment of Infertility (1990), edited by Brooks Keel and Bobby Webster, was aimed at the technical component of the ART laboratories and at the technologists performing these procedures. It contained descriptions of the technical procedures for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility and served as a procedure manual as well as a reference. It was directed primarily toward the technologists working at the bench. It did not, however, provide the laboratorian staffing and directing these ART labs with adequate management information and background information on reproductive biology and medicine. It is the goal of the current handbook to fill these gaps, to provide updated information, and to serve as a companion edition to the 1990 Handbook . It will complement and extend the Handbook of the Laboratory Diagnosis and Treatment of Infertility , rather than replace it.

In general, the current Handbook will (1) review male and female reproductive systems and processes, (2) discuss the clinical diagnosis and management of male and female infertility, (3) provide new information on the state-of-the-art techniques of egg and embryo culture, micromanipulation, and biopsy, and (4) present various aspects of quality control, quality assurance, and clinical laboratory management. It is intended that this Handbook will be used by laboratory directors as a management tool, by technologists and bench personnel (especially new hires) as a training guide, and by students as a resource for study. Laboratory personnel preparing for professional board and certification examinations will find it a useful review.

This Handbook was designed by inviting a group of internationally recognized experts in the field of ART to discuss these topics. We have allowed these experts freedom in terms of the organization and presentation of their information, which has resulted in a blend of presentation styles. Like the 1990 Handbook , we hope this current edition will serve as a guide for current investigation and as a stimulus for future developments in the field.