Quantitative and qualitative trophectoderm grading allows for prediction of live birth and gender
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Prolonged in vitro culture is thought to affect pre- and postnatal development of the embryo. This prospective study was set up to determine whether quality/size of inner cell mass (ICM) (from which the fetus ultimately develops) and trophectoderm (TE) (from which the placenta ultimately develops) is reflected in birth and placental weight, healthy live-birth rate, and gender after fresh and frozen single blastocyst transfer.
In 225 patients, qualitative scoring of blastocysts was done according to the criteria expansion, ICM, and TE appearance. In parallel, all three parameters were quantified semi-automatically.
TE quality and cell number were the only parameters that predicted treatment outcome. In detail, pregnancies that continued on to a live birth could be distinguished from those pregnancies that aborted on the basis of TE grade and cell number. Male blastocysts had a 2.53 higher chance of showing TE of quality A compared to female ones. There was no correlation between the appearance of both cell lineages and birth or placental weight, respectively.
The presented correlation of TE with outcome indicates that TE scoring could replace ICM scoring in terms of priority. This would automatically require a rethinking process in terms of blastocyst selection and cryopreservation strategy.
KeywordsBlastocyst Inner cell mass Live-birth Neonatal outcome Trophectoderm
The authors wish to thank MSc Lisa Dite for language correction.
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