Transcervical embryoscopic and cytogenetic findings reveal distinctive differences in primary and secondary recurrent pregnancy loss

Patients with secondary recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) show significantly higher aneuploidy rates and morphologic defects compared with primary RPL patients so different treatment approaches should be applied.

Volume 107, Issue 1, Pages 144-149


Michael Feichtinger, M.D., Elisabeth Wallner, M.Sc., Beda Hartmann, M.D., Angelika Reiner, M.D., Thomas Philipp, M.D.



To assess the cytogenetic and embryoscopic characteristics of primary and secondary recurrent pregnancy loss.


Clinical prospective descriptive study.


Tertiary care center.


Nine hundred and eighty-four women affected by first-trimester pregnancy loss; 145 patients with recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) and 839 patients with nonrecurrent pregnancy loss as controls.


Transcervical embryoscopic examination of the embryo before uterine evacuation, and cytogenetic analysis of the chorionic villi by standard G-banding cytogenetic techniques.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Aneuploidy frequency in the primary and secondary RPL group and the nonrecurrent pregnancy loss (non-RPL) control group.


Patients with RPL showed statistically significantly fewer aneuploid pregnancy losses (odds ratio [OR] 0.596; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.40–0.88). Primary RPL was associated with lower aneuploidy rates compared with the non-RPL group (OR 0.423; 95% CI, 0.27–0.66) while secondary RPL was not (OR 1.414; 95% CI, 0.67–2.99). Patients with primary RPL had statistically significantly more morphologically normal embryos compared with non-RPL and secondary RPL.


Patients’ embryos after primary and secondary RPL show distinctive differences in aneuploidy and morphologic defect rates. These findings suggest different treatment approaches for the patients with primary and secondary RPL.

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