Prolonged culture of blastocysts after thawing as a tool for improving prediction of success

Jigal Haas, Jim Meriano, Rawad Bassil, Eran Barzilay, Robert F. Casper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose A few years ago, we started to use a new freeze–thaw protocol for the frozen embryo transfer cycles. Instead of thawing the embryos 2–4 h prior to the transfer, we started thawing the embryos 20–22 h prior to the transfer. The aim of this study was to compare the pregnancy rate in cases of embryos that continued to develop in the post-thawing culture to that of embryos that did not. Methods A retrospective cohort study of blastocyst freeze/thaw cycles vitrified on day 5, thawed and transferred after 20–22 h in the culture, between January 2012 and December 2016. Results A total of 375 patients were included in the analysis. Two hundred twenty-eight embryos graded as good, 87 graded as fair, and 60 graded as poor embryos were transferred. The clinical pregnancy rate (50% vs. 19.5% vs 3.3% p <0.01)andthe ongoing pregnancy rate (38.5% vs. 13.6% vs 1.7% p < 0.01) were higher in cases of good embryo quality compared with fair and poor-quality embryos, respectively. For good embryos, progressing to a better grade during the culture did not change the clinical pregnancy rate (51.3% vs. 46.2% p = NS) or the ongoing pregnancy rate (38.5% vs. 37.5% p = NS). For fair embryos, progressing to a better grade during the culture resulted in a higher clinical pregnancy rate (25.4% vs 9% p =0.05). Conclusions The development of the fair embryos in the culture has a highly positive impact on the pregnancy rate and this factor should be taken into consideration before deciding how many embryos to transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2195-2199
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Volume35
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • ART
  • Freeze–thaw cycles
  • Frozen embryo transfers
  • Vitrification

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