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, HM, De, Munck, NJ,
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®Total®LP (CCM) or Sage Quinn's Advantage® 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.