Author(s): Hlinka D, Kaatov B, Uhrinov I, Dolinsk S, Rutarov J,
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Abstract Chronology of three consecutive mitotic events in human pre-implantation embryos was examined by time-lapse imaging. In zygotes producing well-formed and pregnancy-yielding expanded blastocysts, uniform time-patterning of cleavage clusters (c) and interphases (i) was revealed: i2=11+/-1, i3=15+/-1, i4=23+/-1 h / c2=15+/-5, c3=40+/-10, c4=55+/-15 min. Oppositely, shortened or prolonged durations of one or more cell cycles were strongly predictive of poor implantation and development. Furthermore, trichotomic mitosis was discovered in 17 \% of cases - zygotes cleaved into 3 blastomeres and 2-cell embryos into 5-6 cells (instead of normal 2 and 4). During conventional clinical assessment, such embryos are indistinguishable from normal, often considered just-in-course of the next cell cycle. Only detailed time-lapse monitoring paced at 10-minute intervals had proven all these embryos to be absolutely unviable, even in rare cases when they reduced their hypercellularity to normal cell counts via cell-cell fusion. Overall, we demonstrate that time-lapse embryo cleavage rating (ECR) as a standalone diagnostic procedure allows for effective identification of viable early embryos with 90 \% specificity, while elimination of good-looking but unviable embryos can be assumed with a specificity of 100 \%. Thus, making this non-invasive and contactless approach worth of addition to routine embryo screening in clinical IVF programs.
This article was published in Physiol Res
and referenced in Journal of Fertilization: In Vitro - IVF-Worldwide, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Stem Cell Biology