Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 655–666 | Cite as

The effect of laser-assisted hatching on pregnancy outcomes of cryopreserved-thawed embryo transfer: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

  • MeiFang Zeng
  • SuQin Su
  • LiuMing LiEmail author
Review Article


It is well known that laser-assisted hatching (LAH) is the most popular and ideal embryo hatching technology, but the relevance to pregnancy outcomes of cryopreserved-thawed embryo transfer (ET) is controversial. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the effects of LAH on pregnancy outcomes of cryopreserved-thawed ET. We searched for relevant studies published in the PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central databases up to March 2017. This meta-analysis was primarily used to evaluate the effect of laser-assisted hatching on assisted reproductive outcomes: clinical pregnancy, embryo implantation, multiple pregnancy, miscarriage, and live birth. Using the Mantel-Haenszel fixed effects model and random effects model, we determined the summary odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). There were 12 randomized controlled trials (more than 2574 participants) included in our analysis. The rates of clinical pregnancy (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.24–2.19, I 2 = 49), implantation (OR = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.06–2.38, I 2 = 82%), multiple pregnancy (OR = 2.30, 95% CI = 1.30–4.07, I 2 = 33%), miscarriage (OR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.50–1.48, I 2 = 0%), and live birth (OR = 1.09, 95% CI = 0.77–1.54, I 2 = 0%) revealed comparable results for both groups. In summary, this meta-analysis demonstrates that LAH is related to a higher clinical pregnancy rate, embryo implantation rate, and multiple pregnancy rate in women with cryopreserved-thawed embryos. However, LAH is unlikely to increase live birth rates and miscarriage rates. Due to the small sample evaluated in the pool of included studies, large-scale, prospective, randomized, controlled trials are required to determine if these small effects are clinically relevant.


Laser-assisted hatching Cryopreservation Zona pellucida Embryo transfer 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Reproductive Medicine CenterFirst Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical UniversityNanningChina

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