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J Ovarian Res. 2013 Sep 12;6(1):64. doi: 10.1186/1757-2215-6-64.

Pronuclear morphology evaluation for fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles: a systematic review.

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Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Pediatrics, A,O, Arcispedale S, Maria Nuova, IRCCS, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Viale Risorgimento 80, 42123 Reggio Emilia, Italy.


The current systematic review was aimed to assess the effectiveness of the zygote morphology evaluation in fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles. All available studies reporting on zygote morphology and clinical and/or biological outcomes were analyzed. Forty studies were included in the final analysis. Fourteen different zygote scoring systems were employed. Zygote morphology correlated significantly with embryo quality and cleavage, blastocyst stage, embryonic chromosome status, in a high proportion of the studies which assessed the specific outcome [15/25 (60%), 15/20 (75%), 7/8 (87.5%), 6/6 (100%), respectively]. On the other hand, only a reduced proportion of papers showed a statistically significant relationship between implantation, pregnancy and delivery/live-birth rates and zygote morphology score [12/23 (52.2%), 12/25 (48%), 1/4 (25%), respectively]. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate the lack of conclusive data on the clinical efficacy of the zygote morphology evaluation in fresh IVF/ICSI cycles, even if biological results showing a good relationship with embryo viability suggest a role in cycles in which the transfer/freezing is performed at day 1.

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