Time dependent O2 consumption patterns determined optimal time ranges for selecting viable human embryos

We need new and more effective techniques of embryo selection. Oxygen consumption changes depending on the developmental stage, quality, and implantation success. Our observations indicate that oxygen consumption pattern could be a useful new marker of embryo quality.


Alberto Tejera, Ph.D., Javier Herrero, Ph.D., Thamara Viloria, Ph.D., Josep L. Romero, Ph.D., Pilar Gamiz, Ph.D., Marcos Meseguer, Ph.D.

Vol 98, Issue 4, Pages 849-857.e3



To evaluate correlations between metabolic activity and implantation potential of transferred embryos, we designed a study based on oxygen (O2) consumption measurements, because of this O2 uptake is directly related to the capacity of an embryo to produce energy via ATP.


Retrospective cohort study.


Oocyte donation program at the InstitutoValenciano de Infertilidad, Valencia, Spain.


Five hundred seventy five injected oocytes in 56 first oocyte donation cycles with embryo transfer on day 3.



Main outcome measurements:

We analysed embryo destination viability and implantation depending on the embryo O2 consumption (OC) rate obtained from 47.741 measurements (up to 85 measurements per embryo, 2-3 measurements/hour). OC patterns were analyzed in relation to the time elapsed from sperm microinjection or to the final destination of the embryos (transferred, frozed or discarded) to ongoing pregnancy and more detailed by successful implantation.


OC was found to decrease during embryonic development OC patterns from 52 hours onward showed the strongest correlation with implantation success. Regarding embryo destination, the same patterns were observed.


OC from individual embryos revealed significant differences, mainly close to the time of transfer where OC pattern was associated with successful implantation.Therefore measuring OC pattern of human embryos culture up to 72 hours could be used to select the embryo with best developmental potential.

Read the full text at: http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(12)00693-0/fulltext

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