Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 129–136 | Cite as

Correlation between embryological factors and pregnancy rate: development of an embryo score in a cryopreservation programme

  • Miquel SoléEmail author
  • Josep Santaló
  • Ignacio Rodríguez
  • Montse Boada
  • Buenaventura Coroleu
  • Pere N. Barri
  • Anna Veiga
Assisted Reproduction Technologies



To establish which embryo parameters, in frozen thawed embryo transfers, have the highest prognosis value in the establishment of pregnancy. The relative importance of different embryo parameters is used to develop an embryo score.


Retrospective analysis of the implantation rate in 356 frozen/thawed single embryo transfers. A logistic regression model is used to establish an embryo score.


A direct correlation is established between the implantation rate and fresh embryo development (number of blastomeres and their symmetry), survival rate after thawing and mitosis resumption after overnight culture.


An embryo score is developed to determine the implantation potential of frozen/thawed embryos.


Cryopreserved embryos Single embryo transfer Embryological parameters Embryo score 



The authors wish to thank the members of the Servei de Medicina de la Reproducció of Institut Universitari Dexeus in Barcelona for providing clinical and embryological data essential for the development of this study. This work was done under the auspices of the Catedra d’Investigacio en Obstetricia i Ginecologia.


  1. 1.
    Trounson A, Mohr L. Human pregnancy following cryopreservation, thawing and transfer of an eight-cell embryo. Nature. 1983;305:707–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zeilmaker GH, Alberda AT, van Gent I, Rijkmans CM, Drogendijk AC. Two pregnancies following transfer of intact frozen-thawed embryos. Fertil Steril. 1984;42:293–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Veiga A, Calderon G, Barri PN, Coroleu B. Pregnancy after the replacement of a frozen-thawed embryo with less than 50% intact blastomeres. Hum Reprod. 1987;2:321–3.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Tiitinen A, Halttunen M, Harkki P, Vuoristo P, Hyden-Granskog C. Elective single embryo transfer: the value of cryopreservation. Hum Reprod. 2001;16:1140–4.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Le Lannou D, Griveau JF, Laurent MC, Gueho A, Veron E, Morcel K. Contribution of embryo cryopreservation to elective single embryo transfer in IVF-ICSI. Reprod Biomed Online. 2006;13:368–75.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lundin K, Bergh C. Cumulative impact of adding frozen-thawed cycles to single versus double fresh embryo transfers. Reprod Biomed Online. 2007;15:76–82.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sills ES, McLoughlin LJ, Genton MG, Walsh DJ, Coull GD, Walsh AP. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and prophylactic human embryo cryopreservation: analysis of reproductive outcome following thawed embryo transfer. J Ovarian Res. 2008;1:7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Verwoerd GR, Mathews T, Brinsden PR. Optimal follicle and oocyte numbers for cryopreservation of all embryos in IVF cycles at risk of OHSS. Reprod Biomed Online. 2008;17:312–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Edgar DH, Bourne H, Jericho H, McBain JC. The developmental potential of cryopreserved human embryos. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2000;169:69–72.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Andersen AN, Gianaroli L, Felberbaum R, de Mouzon J, Nygren KG, The European IVF-monitoring programme (EIM), European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). Assisted reproductive technology in Europe, 2001. Results generated from European registers by ESHRE. Hum Reprod 2005;20:1158–76.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Schalkoff ME, Oskowitz SP, Powers RD. A multifactorial analysis of the pregnancy outcome in a successful embryo cryopreservation program. Fertil Steril. 1993;59:1070–4.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Edgar DH, Jericho H, Bourne H, McBain JC. The influence of prefreeze growth rate and blastomere number on cryosurvival and subsequent implantation of human embryos. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2001;18:135–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Salumets A, Tuuri T, Makinen S, Vilska S, Husu L, Tainio R, et al. Effect of developmental stage of embryo at freezing on pregnancy outcome of frozen-thawed embryo transfer. Hum Reprod. 2003;18:1890–5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    El-Toukhy T, Khalaf Y, Al-Darazi K, Andritsos V, Taylor A, Braude P. Effect of blastomere loss on the outcome of frozen embryo replacement cycles. Fertil Steril. 2003;79:1106–11.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gabrielsen A, Fedder J, Agerholm I. Parameters predicting the implantation rate of thawed IVF/ICSI embryos: a retrospective study. Reprod Biomed Online. 2006;12:70–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tang R, Catt J, Howlett D. Towards defining parameters for a successful single embryo transfer in frozen cycles. Hum Reprod. 2006;21:1179–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Salumets A, Suikkari AM, Makinen S, Karro H, Roos A, Tuuri T. Frozen embryo transfers: implications of clinical and embryological factors on the pregnancy outcome. Hum Reprod. 2006;21:2368–74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Edgar DH, Archer J, McBain J, Bourne H. Embryonic factors affecting outcome from single cryopreserved embryo transfer. Reprod Biomed Online. 2007;14:718–23.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lassalle B, Testart J, Renard JP. Human embryo features that influence the success of cryopreservation with the use of 1, 2 propanediol. Fertil Steril. 1985;44:645–51.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Coroleu B, Barri PN, Carreras O, Martinez F, Veiga A, Balasch J. The usefulness of ultrasound guidance in frozen-thawed embryo transfer: a prospective randomized clinical trial. Hum Reprod. 2002;17:2885–90.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hosmer DW, Lemeshow S. Applied logistic regression. 2nd ed. New York: Willey; 2000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hyden-Granskog C, Unkila-Kallio L, Halttunen M, Tiitinen A. Single embryo transfer is an option in frozen embryo transfer. Hum Reprod. 2005;20:2935–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Olivius C, Lundin K, Bergh C. Predictive factors for live birth in cryopreservation single embryo transfer cycles. Reprod Biomed Online. 2008;17:676–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Mandelbaum J, Belaisch-Allart J, Junca AM, Antoine JM, Plachot M, Alvarez S, et al. Cryopreservation in human assisted reproduction is now routine for embryos but remains a research procedure for oocytes. Hum Reprod. 1998;Suppl 3:161–74. discussion 175–7.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lahav-Baratz S, Koifman M, Shiloh H, Ishai D, Wiener-Megnazi Z, Dirnfeld M. Analyzing factors affecting the success rate of frozen-thawed embryos. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2003;20:444–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Sifer C, Sellami A, Poncelet C, Martin-Pont B, Porcher R, Hugues JN, et al. Day 3 compared with day 2 cryopreservation does not affect embryo survival but improves the outcome of frozen-thawed embryo transfers. Fertil Steril. 2006;86:1537–40.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hardarson T, Hanson C, Sjogren A, Lundin K. Human embryos with unevenly sized blastomeres have lower pregnancy and implantation rates: indications for aneuploidy and multinucleation. Hum Reprod. 2001;16:313–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Holte J, Berglund L, Milton K, Garello C, Gennarelli G, Revelli A, et al. Construction of an evidence-based integrated morphology cleavage embryo score for implantation potential of embryos scored and transferred on day 2 after oocyte retrieval. Hum Reprod. 2007;22:548–57.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Van Royen E, Mangelschots K, De Neubourg D, Valkenburg M, Van de Meerssche M, Ryckaert G, et al. Characterization of a top quality embryo, a step towards single-embryo transfer. Hum Reprod. 1999;14:2345–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Guerif F, Bidault R, Cadoret V, Couet ML, Lansac J, Royere D. Parameters guiding selection of best embryos for transfer after cryopreservation: a reappraisal. Hum Reprod. 2002;17:1321–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miquel Solé
    • 1
    Email author
  • Josep Santaló
    • 2
  • Ignacio Rodríguez
    • 3
  • Montse Boada
    • 1
  • Buenaventura Coroleu
    • 1
  • Pere N. Barri
    • 1
  • Anna Veiga
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Servei de Medicina de la Reproducció, Departament d’Obstetrícia, Ginecologia i ReproduccióInstitut Universitari DexeusBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Departament de Biologia Cel·lularUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Unitat de Bioestadística, Departament d’Obstetrícia, Ginecologia i ReproduccióInstitut Universitari DexeusBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Banc de Línies Cel.lularsCentre de Medicina Regenerativa de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations