Obstetric and perinatal outcomes of pregnancies conceived with embryos cultured in a time-lapse monitoring system

We present a comparison of obstetric and perinatal outcomes of singleton pregnancies resulting from time-lapse with those resulting from standard in vitro fertilization incubators by means of secondary analysis of a prospective randomized controlled trial.

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Volume 108, Issue 3, Pages 498–504

Authors:

Maria Fernanda Insua, Ph.D., Ana Cristina Cobo, Ph.D., Zaloa Larreategui, Ph.D., Marcos Ferrando, M.D., Vicente Serra, Ph.D., Marcos Meseguer, Ph.D.

Abstract:

Objective

To compare obstetric and perinatal outcomes of singleton pregnancies resulting from embryos incubated in a time-lapse system (TLS) with those of embryos grown in standard IVF incubators (SI).

Design

Retrospective description of a cohort of patients who conceived during a randomized, controlled trial.

Setting

Private university-affiliated IVF center.

Patient(s)

Of 856 randomized patients, 378 gave birth to a live-born infant: 216 of the deliveries originated from embryos incubated in TLS, and 162 deliveries were from embryos cultured in SI.

Intervention(s)

Embryo incubation and selection in TLS.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Delivery and neonatal outcomes.

Result(s)

No significant differences were observed in the baseline characteristics of the study population. The delivery rate was 49.3% (TLS) vs. 40.0% (SI), and multiple deliveries were higher in the TLS group: 31.0% (67 of 216) vs. 24.7% (40 of 162) in the SI group. When singleton pregnancies were analyzed no differences were found between the two groups in the rate of obstetric problems with respect to weeks at delivery: 38.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] 38.4–39.1) (TLS) vs. 39.5 (95% CI 38.0–39.9) (SI); preterm births (<37 weeks): 10.7% (TLS) vs. 12.3% (SI); and very preterm births (<34 weeks): 2.9% (TLS) vs. 3.3% (SI). No statistical differences were found in neonatal outcomes such as birth weight: 3,163 g (95% CI 3,035–3,292 g) (TLS) vs. 3,074 (95% CI 2,913–3,236) (SI); low birth weight (<2,500 g): 12.8% (TLS) vs. 12.3% (SI); very low birth weight (<1,500 g): 2.0% (TLS) vs. 2.4% (SI); or height: 50.3 cm (95% CI 49.6–50.9 cm) (TLS) vs. 49.7 (95% CI 48.9–50.4 cm) (SI). No major malformations or perinatal mortality were found in either of the two groups.

Conclusion(s)

No detrimental effects were observed in obstetric and perinatal outcomes when a time-lapse incubator was used rather than a more widely used conventional incubator. As far as we know this is the first report from a randomized study of the neonatal outcomes of time-lapse monitoring. Our results suggest that this technology is an effective and safe alternative for embryo incubation, though trials of larger numbers of patients are required to further confirm our conclusions.

Clinical Trial Registration Number

NCT01549262.


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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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