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J Assist Reprod Genet. 1992 Feb;9(1):68-76.

Triploidy after in vitro fertilization: cytogenetic analysis of human zygotes and embryos.

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Department of Genetics/Cell Biology, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Tripronuclear zygotes obtained from a clinical IVF program were studied cytogenetically. Successful analysis was possible of 42 specimens at the zygote stage and 21 embryos after the first or second cleavage division. In the majority of zygotes (88%) the expected triploidy was confirmed, whereas only 14% of embryos had solely triploid cells. Therefore it is concluded that after tripolar cleavage division, many different types of mosaicism may originate from irregular chromosome distributions. Since the findings in individual blastomeres in embryos resulting from multipronuclear zygotes do not reflect the genetic content of the whole embryo, these embryos are less suitable in a model system for preimplantion diagnosis. The distribution of the sex chromosomal types (XXX, XXY, and XYY) confirmed theoretical expectations. Since in abortion material or in liveborn triploidy cases, the XYY karyotype is hardly ever observed, this indicates that most likely the 69,XYY karyotype has a very high embryonic mortality.

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