Validation of birth outcomes from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology Clinic Outcome Reporting System (SART CORS): population-based analysis from the Massachusetts Outcome Study of Assisted Reproductive Technology (MOSART)

Although most birth outcomes in the SART CORS are accurate, birth defects are not and should be removed from the national reporting requirement.

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Volume 106, Issue 3, Pages 717-722


Judy E. Stern, Ph.D., Daksha Gopal, M.P.H., Rebecca F. Liberman, M.P.H., Marlene Anderka, Sc.D., M.P.H., Milton Kotelchuck, Ph.D., Barbara Luke, ScD, M.P.H.



To assess the validity of outcome data reported to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology Clinic Outcome Reporting System (SART CORS) compared with data from vital records and the birth defects registry in Massachusetts.


Longitudinal cohort.


Not applicable.


A total of 342,035 live births and fetal deaths from Massachusetts mothers giving birth in the state from July 1, 2004, to December 31, 2008; 9,092 births and fetal deaths were from mothers who had conceived with the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) and whose cycle data had been reported to the SART CORS.


Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Percentage agreement between maternal race and ethnicity, delivery outcome (live birth or fetal death), plurality (singleton, twin, or triplet+), delivery date, and singleton birth weight reported in the SART CORS versus vital records; sensitivity and specificity for birth defects among singletons as reported in the SART CORS versus the Massachusetts Birth Defects Monitoring Program (BDMP).


There was >95% agreement between the SART CORS and vital records for fields of maternal race/ethnicity, live birth/fetal death, and plurality; birth outcome date was within 1 day with 94.9% agreement and birth weight was within 100 g with 89.6% agreement. In contrast, sensitivity for report of any birth defect was 38.6%, with a range of 18.4%–50.0%, for specific birth defect categories.


Although most SART CORS outcome fields are accurately reported, birth defect variables showed poor sensitivity compared with the gold standard data from the BDMP. We suggest that reporting of birth defects be discontinued.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.