Screening for an increased number of chromosomes may improve the detection of abnormal embryos and thus contribute to the capability of preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) to detect the embryo(s) for transfer in IVF with the best chance for a healthy child. Good-quality day 4 and 5 embryos were analyzed after cryopreservation for the nine chromosomes mostly recommended for screening (13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 21, 22, X and Y), next to six additional chromosomes which are less well studied in this context (1, 2, 7, 6, 10 and 17).
The copy numbers of 15 chromosomes were investigated by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in three consecutive rounds. The proportion of aneuploid and mosaic embryos was determined and compared in retrospect to results in case only the recommended probe set had been analyzed.
A total of 52 embryos from 29 infertile women were analyzed. Screening the embryos for six additional chromosomes increased the proportion of abnormal embryos from 67 to 81% (P = 0.03), owing to an increase in mosaic embryos.
All but one of the meiotic aneuploidies found in this study would have been detected by the probe set most frequently used in PGS clinics. However, aneuploid cell lines originating from mitotic errors could be detected for almost all chromosomes, so screening of six additional chromosomes mainly increased the proportion of mosaic embryos. The added value of screening for six additional chromosomes in PGS for clinical practice will remain undetermined as long as the fate of mosaic embryos after transfer is unclear.
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