Comprehensive Chromosomal Analysis Shown to Improve IVF Outcomes
ASRM23 October 2012
San Diego, CA – Researchers at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine presented research showing that by screening all the chromosomes in an embryo the number of successful pregnancies could be increased over traditional methods of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART).
In many ways, human reproduction is an inherently difficult and inefficient process. Because many of the tissues are flawed it can take many sperm, eggs and even embryos to eventually produce one healthy child. Some of the techniques that help patients overcome infertility involve allowing physicians to choose the best of the patient’s reproductive tissues to use in order to have a child. In IVF, for example, not all the eggs will fertilize and not all the embryos will develop. Thus, the clinical staff have to select which embryos they think will have the highest likelihood of establishing a successful pregnancy. Up to now, morphology, that is, how an embryo looked, has been the main criteria for choosing which tissue to transfer.
Researchers at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine and Reproductive Associates of New Jersey think they have found a better way. Because chromosomal aneuploidy accounts for nearly 70% of the first trimester pregnancy loss, they developed a technique to examine embryos for these chromosomal problems. In Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS), once the embryos reached the blastocyst stage (about 100 cells) a biopsy was taken from the top layer of cells and its chromosomes examined. All the embryos were frozen and then the ones found to be chromosomally healthy were thawed and transferred into the woman with the goal of implantation, gestation and birth of a healthy baby.
By comparing a group of patients using CCS with a group of similar patients using traditional methods, the researchers found that the CCS patients significantly increased the likelihood of success, especially for patients of advanced maternal age, in whom chromosomal problems are more likely.
“This carefully designed study points out the potential advantages of using CCS in patients of advanced maternal age. The next step will be large scale trials including data from birth outcomes,” said Linda Giudice, MD, PhD, President-elect of the ASRM.
O-1 Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS) with Vitrification Results in Improved Clinical Outcomes in Women > 35 Years: A Randomized Control Trial.
W.B. Schoolcraft et al