Preimplantation development of embryos in women of advanced maternal age
AbstractIn order to reveal the influence of genetic component on the early embryo development, the retrospective study of morphokinetic characteristics of 717 embryos subjected to preimplantation genetic testing was conducted. Blastomere biopsy for FISH-based preimplantation genetic screening of 7 chromosomes was performed on the third day of culture, while embryo developmental potential and morphological features at the cleavage and blastulation stage were studied regarding maternal age particularly in the group of younger women and patients older than 36. Results of genetic testing revealed that euploid embryos rate gradually decreased with maternal age comprising 39.9% in young women group and 25.3% of specimen belonging to elder patients. At the cleavage stage, morphological characteristics of aneuploid and euploid embryos didn’t differ significantly regardless of the age of patients that could be accounted for the transcriptional silence of embryo genome till the third day of its development. However, in case of prolonged culture chromosomally balanced embryos rarely faced developmental arrest (in 7.9%) and formed blastocysts half more frequently compared to aberrant embryos (respectively 75.6 versus 49.8%). Nevertheless, no substantial difference was found between blastocyst formation rate among embryos with similar genetic component regardless of the maternal age. Taking into consideration high rate of chromosomally unbalanced embryos specific to patients of advanced maternal age, the relative proportion of aneuplouid blastocysts was significantly higher in this group of embryos. Thus, without genetic screening there is a possibility of inaccurate selection of embryos for women of advanced reproductive age for transfer procedure even in case of prolonged culture. Consequently, increase of aneuploid embryos frequency associated with permanent preimplantation natural selection effectiveness along with the postimplantation natural selection failure may be the cause of elevated risk of chromosomally abnormal child birth for advanced age women after natural conception, as well as after assisted reproduction therapy.
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