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Fertil Steril. 2010 Oct;94(5):1662-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.10.029. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

Multicenter observational study on slow-cooling oocyte cryopreservation: clinical outcome.

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Tecnobios Procreazione, Centre for Reproductive Health, Bologna, Italy.



To evaluate the efficacy of oocyte cryopreservation by a single slow-cooling protocol involving sucrose (0.2 mol/L) in the freezing solution.


Observational comparison of the clinical outcome in fresh and frozen thawed cycles.


Public and private IVF centers.


Infertile couples undergoing IVF treatment.


Use of a maximum three oocytes in fresh cycles, as established by local law, and cryopreservation and later use of surplus oocytes. Likewise fresh cycles, maximum three thawed oocytes were used per cycle. All thawed oocytes were microinjected.


Embryologic and clinical parameters of fresh and thawed cycles.


Two thousand forty-six patients underwent 2,209 oocyte retrievals involving oocyte cryopreservation. Overall, the survival rate of thawed oocytes was 55.8%. In 940 thaw cycles, the mean numbers of inseminated oocytes and fertilization rates were significantly decreased vs. fresh cycles outcomes (2.6 ± 0.7 vs. 2.9 ± 0.2 and 72.5% vs. 78.3%, respectively), as were the rates of implantation (10.1% vs. 15.4%), pregnancy rates per transfer (17.0% vs. 27.9%), and pregnancy rates per cycle (13.7% vs. 26.2%). Differences in clinical outcome were found among centers. A pregnancy rate per thawing cycle above 14% was achieved by most clinics. Fifty-seven retrievals involving oocyte cryopreservation achieved a pregnancy after fresh embryo replacement. Implantation and pregnancy rates per embryo transfer and per thawing cycles were 17.5%, 28.6%, and 24.6%, respectively.


Under the conditions tested, the clinical outcome of oocyte slow-cooling cryopreservation is reduced compared with fresh cycles. Nevertheless, in cases of inapplicability of embryo cryopreservation, oocyte cryopreservation should be offered to patients with surplus oocytes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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