Euploidy rates are not affected when embryos are cultured in a continuous (CCM) or sequential culture medium (SCM): a sibling oocyte study

Abdala, A, Elkhatib, I, Bayram, A, Arnanz, A, El-Damen, A, Melado, L, Lawrenz, B, Coughlan, C, Garrido, N, Fatemi, H M, De Munck, N,
J Assist Reprod Genet. Apr. 2021 doi: 10.1007/s10815-021-02187-0


PURPOSE: To determine if euploidy rates and embryo development differ when blastocysts are cultured in CCM or SCM. METHOD: A single-center retrospective observational study was performed from September 2018 to March 2019. Patients [23-46 years] with at least four fresh mature oocytes (MII) without severe male factor infertility were included. Sibling MII were injected and cultured in Global(R)Total(R)LP (CCM) or Sage Quinn's Advantage(R) Cleavage and Blastocyst media (SCM) under 6% CO2, 5% O2, and 89% N2. Fertilization, cleavage, day (D) 5 blastulation, usable blastocyst (blastocysts biopsied/normally fertilized oocytes), and euploidy rates were recorded. Blastocysts were graded prior to trophectoderm (TE) biopsy on D5, 6, or 7 for genetic testing and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) quantification. RESULTS: According to clinical practice, 1452 MII were randomly distributed: 751 in CCM and 701 in SCM. No differences were observed in fertilization and cleavages rates for CCM and SCM (77.4% vs 75.5%, p = 0.429 and 97.6% vs 99.1%, p = 0.094, respectively). Blastulation rate on D5 was higher in CCM (70.6% vs 62.2, p = 0.009); however, usable blastocyst rates were comparable (CCM: 58.3% vs SCM: 56.7%, p = 0.625). From a Poisson regression model adjusted for confounding factors, euploidy rates were not different between media (aOR = 1.18, [0.94-1.48], p = 0.157). Euploid blastocyst's mtDNA values were similar (CCM: 32.2, [30.5, 34.1] and SCM: 33.5, [31.8, 35.2], p = 0.345) and top-quality blastocysts (AA/BA) were increased in SCM (OR=1.04, [1.00-1.09], p = 0.037). CONCLUSION: Under controlled in vitro conditions, euploidy rates and embryo development are comparable when embryos are cultured in CCM or SCM.