Effect of oocyte vitrification on embryo quality: time-lapse analysis and morphokinetic evaluation

We analyzed whether oocyte vitrification may affect subsequent embryo development. Embryos that originated from vitrified oocytes showed a delay, but the embryo quality was not impaired.

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Volume 108, Issue 3, Pages 491–497.e3

Authors:

Ana Cobo, Ph.D., Aila Coello, Ph.D., Jose Remohí, M.D., Jose Serrano, B.Sc.T., Jose Maria de los Santos, Ph.D., Marcos Meseguer, Ph.D.

Abstract:

Objective

To analyze whether oocyte vitrification may affect subsequent embryo development from a morphokinetic standpoint by means of time-lapse imaging.

Design

Observational cohort study.

Setting

University-affiliated private IVF center.

Patient(s)

Ovum donation cycles conducted with the use of vitrified (n = 631 cycles; n = 3,794 embryos) or fresh oocytes (n = 1,359 cycles; n = 9,935 embryos) over 2 years.

Interventions(s)

None.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Embryo development was analyzed in a time-lapse imaging incubator. The studied variables included time to 2 cells (t2), 3 cells (t3), 4 cells (t4), 5 cells (t5), morula (tM), and cavitated, early, and hatching blastocyst (tB, tEB, tHB) as well as 2nd cell cycle duration (cc2 = t3 − t2). All of the embryos were classified according to the hierarchic tree model currently used for embryo selection. The analyzed variables were compared with the use of analysis of variance or chi-square and included 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Result(s)

The embryos that originated from vitrified oocytes showed a delay of ∼1 hour from the first division to 2 cells (t2) to the time of blastulation (tB). The embryos that originated from vitrified oocytes showed a delay of ∼1 hour from the 1st division to 2 cells (t2) to the time of blastulation (tB) (P<.05). The proportions of embryos allocated to categories A–E in the hierarchical tree were similar between groups. No differences in implantation rates between the fresh (51.3% [95% CI 47.1%–55.7%]) and vitrified (46.4% [95% CI 38.4%–54.4%]) groups were found.

Conclusion(s)

The embryo quality of vitrified oocytes was not impaired: cc2, quality according to our hierarchic morphokinetic model, and implantation rates were similar between fresh and vitrified oocytes. However, morphokinetic differences were observed from t2 to tB. Our main study limitation was the retrospective nature of the analysis, although a large database was studied.


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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. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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