Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 30, Issue 8, pp 1073–1079 | Cite as

The effect of two distinct levels of oxygen concentration on embryo development in a sibling oocyte study

  • Esti Kasterstein
  • Deborah Strassburger
  • Daphna Komarovsky
  • Orna Bern
  • Alisa Komsky
  • Arieh Raziel
  • Shevach Friedler
  • Raphael Ron-El
Embryo Biology



This prospective randomized study used sibling oocytes of 258 women with ≥8 oocytes to compare the effect of 5 % O2 versus 20 % O2 concentrations on embryo development and clinical outcome.


Oocytes of each case were divided between incubators with either 5 % or 20 % O2 concentration. Outcome measures were fertilization, cleavage, embryo quality, blastocyst formation, and implantation, pregnancy and live birth rates.


Fertilization and cleavage rates were similar in both groups. The 5 % O2 group had significantly more blastomeres (P < 0.05) and more top-quality embryos on day 3 (P < 0.02), as well as significantly more available embryos for transfer (31.6 % vs. 23.1 % for the 20 % O2 group; P < 0.0001). There were significantly more cycles with good embryos in the 5 % group (76/258) than in the 20 % group (38/258) (P < 0.0001). Implantation and pregnancy rates were significantly higher for 5 % O2 embryos (P < 0.03 and P < 0.05, respectively). Live birth rates per embryo transfer were 34.2 % and 15.8 %, respectively, P < 0.05.


Implantation, pregnancy and live birth rates are higher, and more good quality embryos are available for transfer and freezing with reduced rather than with atmospheric oxygen concentrations during embryo incubation.


Oxygen Embryo culture Blastocysts Pregnancy rates Preimplantation development 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esti Kasterstein
    • 1
    • 2
  • Deborah Strassburger
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daphna Komarovsky
    • 1
    • 2
  • Orna Bern
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alisa Komsky
    • 1
    • 2
  • Arieh Raziel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shevach Friedler
    • 1
    • 2
  • Raphael Ron-El
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Infertility and IVF Unit, Assaf Harofeh Medical CenterZerifinIsrael
  2. 2.Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael

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