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Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2010 Mar;88(3):137-43. doi: 10.1002/bdra.20645.

Congenital malformations in infants born after in vitro fertilization in Sweden.

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Tornblad Institute, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden.



The risk for congenital malformations is increased in infants born after in vitro fertilization (IVF). Some specific malformations appear to be more affected than others.


The presence of congenital malformations in 15,570 infants born after IVF with an embryo transfer between April 1, 2001, and the end of 2006 were compared with all infants born in Sweden during 2001 to 2007 (n = 689,157). Risk estimates were made after adjusting for year of birth, maternal age, parity, smoking, and body mass index. The risks of specific malformations were compared with data from a previous study (1982 to March 31, 2001) of 16,280 infants born after IVF. Different IVF methods were compared to respect to malformation risk.


Increased risks of a similar magnitude were found for most cardiovascular malformations and limb reduction defects for both study periods. For neural tube defects, cardiac septal defects, and esophageal atresia, there was still an increased risk, but it was lower during the second than during the first period. For small bowel atresia, anal atresia, and hypospadias, the risk increase observed during the first study period had disappeared during the second period. An increased risk was seen for some syndromes that have been associated with imprinting errors. No difference in malformation risk according to IVF method was apparent.


A slightly increased risk for congenital malformations after IVF persists. A decreasing risk is seen for some specific malformations, either true or the result of multiple testing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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