Characterization of a top quality embryo, a step towards single-embryo transfer
Van Royen, E × Mangelschots, K De Neubourg, Diane Valkenburg, M Van de Meerssche, M Ryckaert, G Eestermans, W Gerris, J #
Published for the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology by IRL Press
Human Reproduction vol:14 issue:9 pages:2345-9
In most in-vitro fertilization (IVF)/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) programmes approximately one ongoing pregnancy in three is multiple. The need to characterize embryos with optimal implantation potential is obvious. We retrospectively examined all of 23 double transfers resulting in ongoing twins, occurring between January 1, 1996 and May 19, 1997. Characteristics of these top quality embryos were absence of multinucleated blastomeres, four or five blastomeres on day 2, seven or more cells on day 3, and </=20% anucleated fragments. In a subsequent series of 400 IVF/ICSI cycles (out of which 372 were selected for embryo transfer) from May 20, 1997 to July 31, 1998, only women <38 years of age had multiple pregnancies: after 221 transfers of two embryos, 45/116 (39%) were multiple, and after 77 transfers of >2 embryos, 11/31 (35%) were multiple. We applied our top quality criteria to the 221 double transfers: 106 transfers with two top embryos resulted in 65 (63%) ongoing pregnancies with 37 (57%) twins, 65 transfers with one top embryo in 38 (58%) ongoing pregnancies with eight (21%) twins. In the group without top embryos, 12/52 (23%) ongoing singletons occurred, with no twins. The corresponding ongoing implantation rates were 49, 35 and 12%. This analysis suggests that single embryo transfer with an acceptable pregnancy rate might be considered if a top quality embryo is available.