Early maternal serum ß-human chorionic gonadotropin (ß-hCG) levels and sex-related growth difference of IVF embryos
Maternal serum ß-human chorionic gonadotropin (ß-hCG) represents the trophoblastic cell mass and is an indirect measurement of embryo development at early implantation stage. Studies in animals and human embryos detected sex-related growth differences (SRGD) in favour of male embryos during the pre-implantation period. The purpose of our study was to correlate SRGD and maternal serum ß-hCG at 16 days after embryo transfer.
We retrospectively analysed all (fresh and frozen) non-donor, single embryo transfers (SET), elective and not elective, that were performed between December 2008 and December 2013. We included ß-hCG values from day 16 after oocyte collection of pregnancies resulting in live birth. Neonatal gender was retrieved from patient files. Male and female embryos were further grouped to cleavage and blastocyst stage transfers. Regression analysis for confounding variables included maternal age, maternal body mass index (BMI), use of micromanipulation (ICSI), embryo quality (grade), assisted hatching, day of transfer and fresh or frozen embryo transfer.
Seven hundred eighty-six non-donor SETs resulted in live birth. After including only day 16 serum ß-hCG results, 525 SETs were analysed. Neonatal gender was available for 522 cases. Mean maternal serum ß-hCG levels were similar, 347 ± 191 IU/L in the male newborn group and 371 ± 200 IU/L in the female group. The difference between ß-hCG levels remained insignificant after adjusting for confounding variables.
Early maternal ß-hCG levels after embryo transfers did not represent SRGD in our study.
Keywordsß-hCG IVF Embryo Sex related Sex-related growth difference
The authors express their appreciation to Xiangming Tan PhD for his expert assistance in statistical analysis.
- 14.Porat S, Savchev S, Bdolah Y, Hurwitz A, Haimov-Kochman R. Early serum beta-human chorionic gonadotropin in pregnancies after in vitro fertilization: contribution of treatment variables and prediction of long-term pregnancy outcome. Fertil Steril. 2007;88(1):82–9. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2006.11.116.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 15.Shamonki MI, Frattarelli JL, Bergh PA, Scott RT. Logarithmic curves depicting initial level and rise of serum beta human chorionic gonadotropin and live delivery outcomes with in vitro fertilization: an analysis of 6021 pregnancies. Fertil Steril. 2009;91(5):1760–4. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.02.171.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 24.Kathiresan AS, Cruz-Almeida Y, Barrionuevo MJ, Maxson WS, Hoffman DI, Weitzman VN, et al. Prognostic value of beta-human chorionic gonadotropin is dependent on day of embryo transfer during in vitro fertilization. Fertil Steril. 2011;96(6):1362–6. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2011.09.042.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar