Author(s): Bolton VN, Hawes SM, Taylor CT, Parsons JH
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Abstract Following in vitro fertilization, the criteria commonly used to select human embryos for transfer are the cleavage rate and gross morphology, the contention being that those embryos which divide more rapidly and have regular, spherical blastomeres are more likely to lead to a pregnancy. In order to assess the validity of this assumption, the development in vitro of spare embryos was investigated. Eggs and embryos were cultured in Earle's balanced salt solution containing 10\% heat-inactivated patient's serum, and insemination was performed at 40 hr post human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). At 82-90 hr post hCG, up to four embryos were transferred. Any spare embryos were cultured in the same medium for up to 6 days and scored daily for cell number and morphology using a "quality" scale of 4-1 according to degree of fragmentation and shape of the blastomeres. Of 317 fertilized eggs, 55 (17\%) developed to the fully expanded blastocyst stage. The remaining embryos ceased development at the one-cell (6; 2\%), two-cell (49; 15\%), four-cell (110; 35\%), eight-cell (61; 19\%), and cavitating morula (36; 11\%) stages. The relationship between developmental arrest and gross morphology is discussed.
This article was published in J In Vitro Fert Embryo Transf
and referenced in Journal of Fertilization: In Vitro - IVF-Worldwide, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Stem Cell Biology