Time-lapse imaging reveals differences in growth dynamics of embryos after in vitro maturation compared with conventional stimulation

Development of embryos after in vitro maturation, evaluated with the use of time-lapse imaging, differs from embryos after conventional stimulation without compromising pregnancy and live birth rates.

Volume 107, Issue 3, Pages 606–612


Sabine Roesner, M.D., Jens Erik Dietrich, Ph.D., Julia Weigert, Markus Montag, Ph.D., Bettina Toth, M.D., Thomas Strowitzki, M.D.



To study the impact of in vitro maturation (IVM) on embryonal development with the use of time-lapse imaging.


Retrospective case-control study.


University hospital.


In total, 294 embryos were cultured after intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatment of three groups: patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and IVM (n = 105; group 1 [G1]), patients after conventional stimulation without PCOS (n = 115; G2) and with PCOS (n = 74; G3). In total, 171 embryos were finally analyzed (57 G1, 65 G2, and 49 G3).


Data of 23 PCOS patients (30 IVM cycles) from January 2012 to July 2015 were matched according to age and number of oocytes to patients after conventional stimulation without PCOS (n = 30; 30 cycles) and with PCOS (n = 16; 19 cycles). Markers of embryo development were analyzed at different time points. Pregnancy rates (PRs) and live birth rates (LBRs) were recorded.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Morphokinetic differences in embryo development after IVM compared with conventional stimulation with or without PCOS.


The rate of good-quality embryos was significantly lower in G1. Embryo development in G1 was significantly accelerated to the time of appearance of two pronuclei but slowed down by the time of reaching 6-cell stage and remained slower compared with embryos of G2 and G3. PRs as well as LBRs did not differ significantly among the study groups.


Although growth dynamics of embryos from G1 differ from G2 and G3 and the rate of good-quality embryos was lower in IVM embryos, PRs and LBRs did not differ significantly.

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