Time lapse monitoring of zona pellucida free embryos obtained through in vitro fertilization A retrospective case series

Original Video Article

Capsule:
This case series demonstrate that an oocyte with a damaged zona pellucida that has been removed could be successfully fertilized with intracytoplasmic sperm injection, cultured until blastocyst stage in a time-lapse incubator, and vitrified electively for subsequent use.

Authors:
Daniel Bodri, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D., Ryutaro Kato, B.Sc., Masae Kondo, B.Sc., Naoko Hosomi, M.D., Yoshinari Katsumata, M.D., Ph.D., Satoshi Kawachiya, M.D., Tsunekazu Matsumoto, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 103, Issue 5, Page e35

Abstract:

Objective:
To report time-lapse monitoring of human oocytes in which the damaged zona pellucida was removed, producing zona-free (ZF) oocytes that were cultured until the blastocyst stage in time-lapse incubators.

Design:
Retrospective case series.

Setting:
Private infertility clinic.

Patient(s):
Infertile patients (n = 32) undergoing minimal ovarian stimulation or natural cycle IVF treatment between October 2012 and June 2014.

Intervention(s):
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) fertilization of ZF oocytes, prolonged embryo culture in time-lapse incubators, elective vitrification, and subsequent single vitrified-thawed blastocyst transfer (SVBT).

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Rate of fertilization, cleavage and blastocyst development, live-birth rate per SVBT cycle.

Result(s):
In spite of advanced maternal age (39 ± 4.2; range, 30–46 years), good fertilization (94%), cleavage (94%), and blastocyst development rates (38%) were reached after fertilization and culturing of ZF oocytes/embryos. All thawed ZF blastocysts survived, and up to this date seven SVBT transfers were performed, yielding three (43%) term live births with healthy newborns.

Conclusion(s):
Time-lapse imagery gives a unique insight into the dynamics of embryo development in ZF embryos. Moreover, our case series demonstrate that an oocyte with a damaged zona pellucida that has been removed could be successfully fertilized with ICSI, cultured until blastocyst stage in a time-lapse incubator and vitrified electively for subsequent use.

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