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Fertil Steril. 2010 Sep;94(4):1302-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.08.014. Epub 2009 Sep 26.

Mechanically expanding the zona pellucida of human frozen thawed embryos: a new method of assisted hatching.

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1
Reproductive Medicine Center, First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangdong, People's Republic of China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether a new assisted hatching (AH) method increases the implantation and clinical pregnancy rates of frozen-thawed day-3 (D3) embryos.

DESIGN:

Prospective study.

SETTING:

A university hospital in vitro fertilization (IVF) program.

PATIENT(S):

Patients who had their first IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles between June 1, 2006, and December 31, 2008, with fresh IVF-embryo transfer failures or without fresh embryo transfer.

INTERVENTION(S):

The couples were randomized into thawed embryo transfer after AH versus no AH. In the AH group, the zona pellucida (ZP) of D3 frozen-thawed embryos was expanded by injected hydrostatic pressure after thawing. In the control group, embryos were pierced by ICSI needles without expanding the ZP.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Clinical pregnancy and implantation rates.

RESULT(S):

The morphologic features of the blastomeres were carefully monitored and recorded. In the AH group, 244 embryos were thawed, and 178 (73.0%) survived; in the control group, 259 embryos were thawed, and 190 (73.4%) survived. Despite the transfer of a similar number of embryos, the AH group resulted in statistically significantly higher implantation and clinical pregnancy rates compared with the no AH group.

CONCLUSION(S):

Mechanically expanding the ZP of frozen-thawed D3 embryos with injected hydrostatic pressure after thawing increases the implantation rate compared with control embryos.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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