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Pregnancy Rates Acceptable After 4-Day Embryo Culture

Extended embryo culture after in vitro fertilization allows for completion of genetic testing

FRIDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Embryos developed from in vitro fertilization can be cultured for up to four days before implantation while still achieving acceptable pregnancy rates, which may allow for completion of pre-implantation genetic testing, according to a report in the April issue of Fertility and Sterility.

Josh C. Skorupski, M.D., of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of 200 non-donor, fresh in vitro fertilization cycles to assess the success of four-day embryo transfers. Longer culture prior to implantation may allow better selection of proliferating embryos and completion of genetic testing, among other advantages.

The authors found that the overall live-birth rate was 54.4 percent and was highest among recipients aged 34 years and younger. Live-birth rates of twins and triplets were 27.5 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. Implantation rates ranged from 45.2 percent to 10.3 percent and were highest in younger patients.

"Extended embryo culture also allows the results of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to be completed prior to embryo transfer, thus minimizing the risk of missed diagnoses," the authors wrote. "Extended culture in combination with pre-implantation genetic diagnosis might provide additional information for improving in vitro fertilization outcomes, while minimizing the transfer of chromosomally abnormal embryos."

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