The assisted reproductive technology laboratory: toward evidence-based practice?

In the human assisted reproduction laboratory, should equipment, utensils, and consumables, as well as culture and embryo selection strategies, be systematically evaluated before being introduced into routine u

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Authors

Arne Sunde, Ph.D., Basak Balaban, M.Sc.

Volume 100, Issue 2, Pages 310-318, August 2013

Abstract

In the past decades, the efficiency of human assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has improved. We have witnessed important new developments such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection, blastocyst culture, vitrification, and methods for genetic analysis of human embryos. Despite these improvements, current ART laboratories are to a large extent composed of general laboratory equipment that is not designed and manufactured especially for human ART. Human reproductive cells have different physiochemical requirements than somatic cells. We encourage the development of laboratory equipment, utensils, and consumables that are designed specifically for human ART. In addition, the quality and consistency of commercially available culture media have improved, but the composition of commercially available ART culture media varies considerably. It is difficult to see the scientific rationale for this variation. Currently it is not known which of these formulations gives the best clinical results. Finally, selection of embryos in routine ART should be done with the use of variables that have been shown to have statistically independent selection power. With the advent of automatic and objective methods for recording morphology and growth kinetics of human embryos, there is a possibility to pool data sets from many different clinics. This may enable the construction of selection algorithms based on objectively recorded embryo parameters. New methods for the genetic analysis of chromosomal status of embryos may prove to be useful, but they should be tested in controlled randomized trials before being introduced for routine use in ART.

Read the full text at: http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(13)00732-2/fulltext


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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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