Reliable chromosomal testing


Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) has long been debated as to whether or not it’s worth the expense, time, effort and emotion especially since the reliability of the results has been unclear. An ESHRE task force has now presented data in a groundbreaking study which states that PGS is a reliable method for determining the chromosomal condition of an ovum.

Scientists at the University of Bonn and the SISMER center in Bologna used a new micro array technology which can screen all the chromosomes in a cell within 12 hours. Being able to screen so quickly enables fresh egg implantation for IVF. They were able to successfully screen 89% of all polar bodies analyzed. In case where abnormalities were found, the eggs were examined later and confirmed the findings of the micro-array.

Numerical chromosomal abnormalities are presumed to be a major factor in the eventual success of the various assisted reproductive technologies. Different studies indicate contradictory conclusions. Some show that PGS does not improve the live birth rates in mothers of advanced age and low fertility. “With chromosome errors being the predominant cause of non-viability of the embryo, we hope this approach will in future effectively improve results in assisted reproduction,” said Professor Geraedts, past ESHRE chair and coordinator of the task force.

“The pilot study was aimed at answering one of the most pressing questions in assisted reproduction : how can we improve the success rate of IVF treatments in women of advanced maternal age? We set out to answer the outstanding questions about PGS once and for all,” said Professor Geraedts.

The benefits to this new and proven procedure are many. First it’s fast and less manually intensive than previous methods. Therefore, the analysis may be done before the gametes can fuse, therefore this testing method would be allowed in places like Germany where there are strict protections for the embryo.

Source: Medical News Today, ESHRE


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