Clinical experience with synthetic serum substitute as a protein supplement in IVF culture media: A retrospective study
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Objective: Our objective was to evaluate the efficacy of Synthetic Serum Substitute (Irvine Scientific—Materials Section, Santa Ana, CA), a globulin-enriched protein preparation containing human serum albumin for supplementation of IVF culture media.
Design: We retrospectively analyzed IVF cycles performed at MacDonald Womens Hospital between January 1992 and November 1994. IVF cycles were reviewed and classified according to the nature of protein supplementation used in the embryo culture medium. Three protein supplements utilized during this time period were compared: Synthetic Serum Substitute (SSS), Plasmanate (PL), and maternal serum (MS).
Results: Although clinical pregnancy rates among the three treatment groups were not statistically different, there was a definite trend toward a higher pregnancy rate with SSS supplementation (SSS, 38.2%; MS, 28.0%; and PL, 24.9%). Embryos grown in SSS-supplemented culture media had a significantly higher implantation rate (17.8 vs 10.4 and 10.3%, respectively, for MS and PL). Preliminary data also suggest that human embryo development and blastulation in vitro were enhanced by this protein supplement.
Conclusions: The higher implantation rate with SSS suggests that it may be superior to both maternal serum and Plasmanate in supporting human embryo development in vitro. Whether blastocysts derived from PL- and SSS-supplemented media are able to implant and give rise to clinical pregnancies remains to be seen.
Key wordsculture medium human embryo in vitro fertilization protein supplement synthetic serum
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