Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 524–530 | Cite as

A correlation of the outcome of clinical in vitro fertilization with the inositol content and embryotrophic properties of human serum

  • Tony T. Y. Chiu
  • Patrick P. L. Tam
Clinical Assisted Reproduction


This study was designed to investigate whether the level of myo-inositol (MI) in human serum is critical for embryotrophic activity.


The embryotrophic properties of human serum were evaluated by the development of postimplantation mouse embryos [in vitro assay of Tam et al.(Fertil Steril48:834–839, 1987)].An enzymatic spectrophotometric method using myo-inositol dehydrogenase was used for determination of serum MI. The level of MI detected in serum was compared with the embryotrophic properties and the pregnancy outcome. The effect of MI on the embryotrophic activity of human serum was studied by supplementing the suboptimal serum samples that were unsupportive of embryo growth with extra MI.


Serum obtained from patients having successful IVF pregnancies generally supported better development of postimplantation mouse embryos and contained higher levels of inositol, particularly if the serum sample was collected during the IVF treatment cycle. Serum samples obtained from patients with aborted pregnancies, though supporting mouse embryo development, contained significantly lower concentrations of inositol. An improvement of the embryotrophic properties with exogenous inositol supplement was achieved in some but not all of the suboptimal serum samples studied.


It is possible that other factors in addition to inositol are crucial in promoting better embryonic development.

Key words

inositol human sera embryotrophic property in vitro fertilization postimplantation mouse embryo culture 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony T. Y. Chiu
    • 1
  • Patrick P. L. Tam
    • 2
  1. 1.IVF Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of MedicineThe Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales HospitalShatinHong Kong
  2. 2.Embryology Unit, The Children's Medical Research InstituteUniversity of SydneyWentworthvilleAustralia

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