Luteal phase serum cell-free DNA as a marker of failed pregnancy after assisted reproductive technology

  • Elaine A. Hart
  • William C. Patton
  • John D. Jacobson
  • Alan King
  • Johannah Corselli
  • Philip J. Chan


Purpose: DNA-damaging factors have been reported in patients that failed to achieve pregnancy after assisted reproductive technologies (ART). The hypothesis was that increased circulating cell-free DNA released by damaged cells could predict unfavorable conditions leading to failed ART treatment. The objective was to compare the relative concentrations of cell-free DNA in the luteal phase sera of nonpregnant versus pregnant patients.

Methods: Frozen-thawed sera (30 IVF cases) were obtained 1 week after embryo transfer. There were 16 pregnant and 14 nonpregnant cases and controls consisting of male sera (n = 8 cases). Modified isocratic capillary electrophoresis was performed and the images analyzed for cell-free DNA.

Results: Circulating cell-free DNA were identified in the sera of all patients. The serum concentrations of high (12 kb) and low (1 kb) molecular weight cell-free DNA were similar for both nonpregnant and pregnant patients. Male control sera had higher cell-free DNA concentrations compared with females. Evaluation of sera from a control case showed no fluctuations in cell-free DNA concentrations throughout specific days of the menstrual cycle.

Conclusions: The results do not support the use of the luteal phase cell-free DNA concentration as a marker for failed pregnancies. The equal concentrations of high and low molecular weight cell-free DNA and ladder band-like gel patterns suggested cell apoptosis as the source of DNA.


Cell-free nucleic acids capillary electrophoresis assisted reproductive technologies noninvasive diagnosis luteal phase serum 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elaine A. Hart
    • 1
  • William C. Patton
    • 1
  • John D. Jacobson
    • 1
  • Alan King
    • 1
  • Johannah Corselli
    • 1
  • Philip J. Chan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsLoma Linda University School of MedicineLoma Linda
  2. 2.Department of Physiology and PharmacologyLoma Linda University School of MedicineLoma Linda
  3. 3.Loma Linda University Center for Fertility and In Vitro FertilizationLoma Linda

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