Clinical pregnancy is significantly associated with the blastocyst width and area: a time-lapse study

Abstract

In order to maintain pregnancy rates following single embryo transfer, optimisation of embryo culture and selection is vital. Time-lapse monitoring (TLM) has the potential to play a crucial role by providing sequential images of embryo development and minimal disturbance. Therefore, in this study morphometric assessment of blastocyst area and maximum width was performed in order to evaluate if these parameters are associated with pregnancy outcomes in IVF/ICSI cycles. This is a retrospective study of 664 patients who had elective single blastocyst transfer (eSBT). The EmbryoScope drawing tools were used to measure specific variables such as the maximum blastocyst width and blastocyst area. Our results show that women who were pregnant had significantly (P < 0.01) larger blastocyst width [median (range) μm] 184 (125–239) versus non-pregnant, 160 (120–230)] and area [median (range) μm2] 26099 (12101–45,280) versus non-pregnant women, 22,251 (10992–37,931)]. A univariate logistic regression performed showed that blastocyst width [(OR = 1.026, 95% CI = (1.019, 1.033)] was significant (P < 0.01) and for every μm increase of blastocyst width, the odds of clinical pregnancy increase by 2.6%. A univariate logistic regression performed showed that blastocyst area [(OR = 1.00008, 95% CI = (1.00006, 1.00011)] was significant with P < 0.01. For every μm2 increase of blastocyst area, our data showed the odds of clinical pregnancy increase by 0.008%. Hosmer-Lemeshow tests of calibrations were performed to verify calibration. Although our findings show a clear correlation between blastocyst dimensions and the clinical pregnancy rate, further studies are necessary to confirm these observations.

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Funding

Project support was provided by the Edinburgh Assisted Conception Programme, EFREC, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Old Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH16 4SA, UK.

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Correspondence to Romualdo Sciorio.

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We declare that we do not have any commercial or associative interest that represents a conflict of interest in connection with the work submitted.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments. The Local Ethics Committee did not require an ethical approval for this retrospective study.

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Sciorio, R., Thong, D., Thong, K.J. et al. Clinical pregnancy is significantly associated with the blastocyst width and area: a time-lapse study. J Assist Reprod Genet (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10815-021-02071-x

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Keywords

  • Embryo culture
  • EmbryoScope time-lapse incubator
  • Maximum blastocyst width
  • Blastocyst area
  • Single blastocyst transfer
  • Pregnancy outcome