JOURNAL ARTICLE

Arrested human embryos are more likely to have abnormal chromosomes than developing embryos from women of advanced maternal age

Shu-Tao Qi, Li-Feng Liang, Ye-Xing Xian, Jian-Qiao Liu, Weihua Wang
Journal of Ovarian Research 2014, 7: 65
24955133

BACKGROUND: Aneuploidy is one of the major factors that result in low efficiency in human infertility treatment by in vitro fertilization (IVF). The development of DNA microarray technology allows for aneuploidy screening by analyzing all 23 pairs of chromosomes in human embryos. All chromosome screening for aneuploidy is more accurate than partial chromosome screening, as errors can occur in any chromosome. Currently, chromosome screening for aneuploidy is performed in developing embryos, mainly blastocysts. It has not been performed in arrested embryos and/or compared between developing embryos and arrested embryos from the same IVF cycle.

METHODS: The present study was designed to examine all chromosomes in blastocysts and arrested embryos from the same cycle in patients of advanced maternal ages. Embryos were produced by routine IVF procedures. A total of 90 embryos (45 blastocysts and 45 arrested embryos) from 17 patients were biopsied and analyzed by the Agilent DNA array platform.

RESULTS: It was found that 50% of the embryos developed to blastocyst stage; however, only 15.6% of the embryos (both blastocyst and arrested) were euploid, and most (84.4%) of the embryos had chromosomal abnormalities. Further analysis indicated that 28.9% of blastocysts were euploid and 71.1% were aneuploid. By contrast, only one (2.2%) arrested embryo was euploid while others (97.8%) were aneuploid. The prevalence of multiple chromosomal abnormalities in the aneuploid embryos was also higher in the arrested embryos than in the blastocysts.

CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that high proportions of human embryos from patients of advanced maternal age are aneuploid, and the arrested embryos are more likely to have abnormal chromosomes than developing embryos.

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