Researchers have determined that genetic screening before embryo transfer does not increase the chances of IVF success in women of advanced maternal age. The latest trial, published in Human Reproduction, is the largest study of its kind to have been carried out.
Researchers across Europe sought to estimate the effectiveness of preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A), a practice which has been controversial, in broad routine clinical practice. They examined whether PGT-A using comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS) to select embryos for transfer increased the likelihood of a live birth within one year in women aged 36–40 years planning an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycle, compared to ICSI without chromosome analysis.
It was seen that of the 205 participants in the chromosome screening group, 50 (24%) had a live birth with intervention within one year, compared to 45 of the 191 in the group without intervention (24%), a difference of 0.83%. Despite the similar birth rates, there were significantly fewer transfers in the screening group (relative risk (RR) = 0.81) and fewer miscarriages (RR = 0.48).
The authors noted, however, that whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks including the potential effect on the children born after prolonged culture and/or cryopreservation remains to be shown.