Abnormally fertilized oocytes can result in healthy live births: improved genetic technologies for preimplantation genetic testing can be used to rescue viable embryos in in vitro fertilization cycles

Direct genetic testing can be used to rescue blastocysts derived from abnormally fertilized oocyte, which are commonly discarded worldwide for the concerns about ploidy alterations.

Volume 108, Issue 6, Pages 1007–1015.e3


Antonio Capalbo, Ph.D., Nathan Treff, Ph.D., Danilo Cimadomo, M.Sc., Xin Tao, Ph.D., Susanna Ferrero, M.D., Alberto Vaiarelli, M.D., Silvia Colamaria, M.D., Roberta Maggiulli, Ph.D., Giovanna Orlando, M.Sc., Catello Scarica, Ph.D., Richard Scott, M.D., Filippo Maria Ubaldi, M.D., Laura Rienzi, M.Sc.



To test whether abnormally fertilized oocyte (AFO)–derived blastocysts are diploid and can be rescued for clinical use.


Longitudinal-cohort study from January 2015 to September 2016 involving IVF cycles with preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A). Ploidy assessment was incorporated whenever a blastocyst from a monopronuclear (1PN) or tripronuclear zygote (2PN + 1 smaller PN; 2.1 PN) was obtained.


Private IVF clinics and genetics laboratories.


A total of 556 women undergoing 719 PGT-A cycles.


Conventional chromosome analysis was performed on trophectoderm biopsies by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. For AFO-derived blastocysts, ploidy assessment was performed on the same biopsy with the use of allele ratios for hetorozygous SNPs analyzed by means of next-generation sequencing (1:1 = diploid; 2:1 = triploid; loss of heterozygosity = haploid). Balanced-diploid 1PN- and 2.1PN-derived blastocysts were transferred in the absence of normally fertilized transferable embryos.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Ploidy constitution and clinical value of AFO-derived blastocysts in IVF PGT-A cycles.


Of the 5,026 metaphase II oocytes injected, 5.2% and 0.7% showed 1PN and 2.1PN, respectively. AFOs showed compromised embryo development (P<.01). Twenty-seven AFO-derived blastocysts were analyzed for ploidy constitution. The 1PN-derived blastocysts were mostly diploid (n = 9/13; 69.2%), a few were haploid (n = 3/13; 23.1%), and one was triploid (n = 1/13; 7.7%). The 2.1PN-derived blastocysts were also mostly diploid (n = 12/14; 85.7%), and the remainder were triploid. Twenty-six PGT-A cycles resulted in one or more AFO-derived blastocysts (n = 26/719; 3.6%). Overall, eight additional balanced-diploid transferable embryos were obtained from AFOs. In three cycles, the only balanced-diploid blastocyst produced was from an AFO (n = 3/719; 0.4%). Three AFO-derived live births were achieved: one from a 1PN zygote and two from 2.1PN zygotes.


Enhanced PGT-A technologies incorporating reliable ploidy assessment provide an effective tool to rescue AFO-derived blastocysts for clinical use.

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