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Fertil Steril. 2009 Sep;92(3):918-22. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.07.1743. Epub 2008 Sep 6.

Ultrasonographer experience does not impact outcomes following ultrasound-guided embryo transfer.

Author information

1
Vincent Memorial Obstetrics and Gynecology Service, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. idharris@partners.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the effect of sonographer experience during ultrasound guided embryo transfer on pregnancy outcomes.

DESIGN:

Retrospective chart review.

SETTING:

A university-based academic practice.

PATIENT(S):

A total of 319 women who underwent in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) from the site-specific clinic. A total of 118 women (37%) underwent embryo transfers with a medical assistant (inexperienced ultrasonographer) performing ultrasound guidance, and 201 women (63%) underwent embryo transfers by an REI fellow (experienced ultrasonagrapher) performing the US guidance.

INTERVENTION(S):

Real-time transabdominal ultrasound guidance during IVF-ET.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Respective biochemical, clinical, and live birth rates following ultrasound-guided IVF-ET performed by either experienced or nonexperienced sonographers.

RESULT(S):

The two groups were similar in baseline characteristics or treatment response. Pregnancy outcomes were similar in both groups, with the MA cohort demonstrating clinical pregnancy rate of 43.2% and a live birth rate of 35.6%, and the REI fellow group yielding a clinical pregnancy rate of 44.8% and a live birth rate 35.8%, respectively.

CONCLUSION(S):

The clinical experience of the person performing ultrasound guidance during IVF-ET does not have an effect on clinical outcome. Thus, the use of an assistant without formal ultrasound training during IVF-ET is a reasonable option.

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