Is oocyte meiotic spindle morphology associated with embryo ploidy? A prospective cohort study

This study demonstrates for the first time that oocytes with normal spindle morphology are more likely to produce euploid embryos compared with oocytes with translucent or no visible meiotic spindles.


Liza Tilia, B.Sc., Christos Venetis, Ph.D., Suha Kilani, Ph.D., Simon Cooke, Ph.D., Michael Chapman

Volume 105, Issue 4, Pages 1085-1092



To explore whether an association exists between oocyte meiotic spindle morphology visualized by polarized light microscopy at the time of intracytoplasmic sperm injection and the ploidy of the resulting embryo.


Prospective cohort study.


Private IVF clinic, Sydney, Australia.


Patients undergoing preimplantation genetic screening/diagnosis (n = 113 patients).


Oocyte meiotic spindles were assessed by polarized light microscopy and classified at the time of intracytoplasmic sperm injection as normal, dysmorphic, translucent, telophase, or no visible spindle. Single blastomere biopsy was performed on day 3 of culture for analysis by array comparative genomic hybridization.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Spindle morphology and embryo ploidy association was evaluated by regression methods accounting for non-independence of data.


The frequency of euploidy in embryos derived from oocytes with normal spindle morphology was significantly higher than all other spindle classifications combined (odds ratio [OR] 1.93, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.33–2.79). Oocytes with translucent (OR 0.25, 95% CI 0.13–0.46) and no visible spindle morphology (OR 0.35, 95% CI 0.19–0.63) were significantly less likely to result in euploid embryos when compared with oocytes with normal spindle morphology. There was no significant difference between normal and dysmorphic spindle morphology (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.49–1.08), whereas no telophase spindles resulted in euploid embryos (n = 11). Assessment of spindle morphology was found to be independently associated with embryo euploidy after controlling for embryo quality (OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.16–2.60).


Oocyte spindle morphology is associated with the resulting embryo’s ploidy. Oocytes with normal spindle morphology are significantly more likely to produce euploid embryos compared with oocytes with meiotic spindles that are translucent or not visible.

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