Obstetric and perinatal outcomes of pregnancies conceived with embryos cultured in a time-lapse monitoring system

Insua, M F, Cobo, A, Larreategui, Z, Ferrando, M, Serra, V, Meseguer, M,
Fertil Steril. Sep. 2017 doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2017.06.031


OBJECTIVE: To compare obstetric and perinatal outcomes of singleton pregnancies resulting from embryos incubated in a time-lapse system (TLS) with those of embryos grown in standard IVF incubators (SI). DESIGN: Retrospective description of a cohort of patients who conceived during a randomized, controlled trial. SETTING: Private university-affiliated IVF center. PATIENT(S): Of 856 randomized patients, 378 gave birth to a live-born infant: 216 of the deliveries originated from embryos incubated in TLS, and 162 deliveries were from embryos cultured in SI. INTERVENTION(S): Embryo incubation and selection in TLS. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Delivery and neonatal outcomes. RESULT(S): No significant differences were observed in the baseline characteristics of the study population. The delivery rate was 49.3% (TLS) vs. 40.0% (SI), and multiple deliveries were higher in the TLS group: 31.0% (67 of 216) vs. 24.7% (40 of 162) in the SI group. When singleton pregnancies were analyzed no differences were found between the two groups in the rate of obstetric problems with respect to weeks at delivery: 38.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] 38.4-39.1) (TLS) vs. 39.5 (95% CI 38.0-39.9) (SI); preterm births (<37 weeks): 10.7% (TLS) vs. 12.3% (SI); and very preterm births (<34 weeks): 2.9% (TLS) vs. 3.3% (SI). No statistical differences were found in neonatal outcomes such as birth weight: 3,163 g (95% CI 3,035-3,292 g) (TLS) vs. 3,074 (95% CI 2,913-3,236) (SI); low birth weight (<2,500 g): 12.8% (TLS) vs. 12.3% (SI); very low birth weight (<1,500 g): 2.0% (TLS) vs. 2.4% (SI); or height: 50.3 cm (95% CI 49.6-50.9 cm) (TLS) vs. 49.7 (95% CI 48.9-50.4 cm) (SI). No major malformations or perinatal mortality were found in either of the two groups. CONCLUSION(S): No detrimental effects were observed in obstetric and perinatal outcomes when a time-lapse incubator was used rather than a more widely used conventional incubator. As far as we know this is the first report from a randomized study of the neonatal outcomes of time-lapse monitoring. Our results suggest that this technology is an effective and safe alternative for embryo incubation, though trials of larger numbers of patients are required to further confirm our conclusions. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT01549262.