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Hum Reprod. 1990 Oct;5(7):826-9.

Analysis of the first polar body: preconception genetic diagnosis.

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Reproductive Genetics Institute, Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago 60657.


In women who are heterozygous for a genetic disease, genetic analysis of the first polar body allows the identification of oocytes that contain the maternal unaffected gene. These oocytes can be fertilized and transferred to the mother without risk of establishing a pregnancy with a genetically abnormal embryo. We have demonstrated that removal of the first polar body has no effect on subsequent fertilization rates or embryonic growth to the blastocyst stage. We have developed a PCR technique to successfully analyze the PI type Z and PI type M genotypes of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency and applied this technique for a couple at risk for PI type ZZ alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency. After standard IVF treatment to stimulate multiple follicle development, eight oocytes were aspirated transvaginally. Polar bodies were removed by micromanipulation from seven oocytes and fertilization occurred in six cases. PCR analysis was successful in five oocytes. One was PI type M, two were PI type Z and two were heterozygous MZ due to crossing over. Embryos from the two oocytes containing the unaffected gene (polar body PI type Z) were transferred in the same cycle 48 h after insemination. No pregnancy was established. The accuracy of the polar body diagnosis was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of an oocyte that failed to fertilize.

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