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Reprod Biomed Online. 2013 Mar;26(3):210-21. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2012.10.021. Epub 2012 Dec 5.

Morphological systems of human embryo assessment and clinical evidence.

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Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States.


Success rates with IVF have improved remarkably since the procedure was first established for clinical use with the first successful birth in 1978. The main goals today are to perform single-embryo transfer in order to prevent multiple pregnancies and achieve higher overall pregnancy rates. However, the ability to identify the most viable embryo in a cohort remains a challenge despite the numerous scoring systems currently in use. Clinicians still depend on developmental rate and morphological assessment using light microscopy as the first-line approach for embryo selection. Active research in the field involves developing non-invasive methods for scoring embryos and ranking them according to their ability to implant and give rise to a healthy birth. Current attention is particularly being focused on time-lapse evaluation. Available data from preliminary studies indicate that these systems are safe;prospective data now need to be collected to determine whether these methods do improve implantation rates. This review gives brief consideration to the use of morphological evaluations in assisted reproduction treatment, discusses the types of embryo scoring,digital imaging and biometric approaches currently in use and comments on future developments for embryo evaluation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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