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05.06.2006
 
Newsletter No. 3/2006
 
Reproductive Medicine
  1. The obstetrical and neonatal outcome of babies born after single-embryo transfer in IVF/ICSI compares favourably to spontaneously conceived babies.
  2. Comparative birth weights of singletons born after assisted reproduction and natural conception in previously infertile women.

Gynaecology

  1. High plasma concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls and phthalate esters in women with endometriosis: a prospective case control study.
  2. Prevalence and distribution of adnexal findings suggesting endometriosis in patients with MR diagnosis of adenomyosis.

1. The obstetrical and neonatal outcome of babies born after single-embryo transfer in IVF/ICSI compares favourably to spontaneously conceived babies.

Recently, concern has risen about poor obstetrical and neonatal outcome of singletons after IVF/ICSI. Because the population of patients receiving single-embryo transfer (SET) resulting in singleton pregnancies is different from the one that would have become pregnant (with a singleton) before SET was introduced, we wanted to investigate whether the outcome of singleton pregnancies after SET differed from spontaneously conceived singletons. The obstetrical and early neonatal outcome of all pregnancies originating from SET after IVF/ICSI procedures between 1 January 1998 and 31 December 2003, was prospectively collected and analyzed. Data from 251 singleton pregnancies and births after SET were analyzed and compared to data from 59,535 spontaneously conceived singletons retrieved from the Centre for Perinatal Epidemiology. The mean birthweight of the singletons after SET was 3322 g (+/-538 SD) versus 3330 g (+/-531 SD) for the spontaneously conceived singletons (P = 0.82). The mean gestational age was 38.7 weeks (+/-1.9 SD) for SET and 38.9 weeks (+/-1.8 SD) for spontaneously conceived singletons (P = 0.06). The proportion of very preterm birth (<32 weeks) was 0.8% in each group, and the proportion of preterm birth (<37 weeks) was 10.0% for SET singletons and 6.24% for spontaneous singletons (P = 0.03). However, mean birthweight of very preterm, preterm and term SET singleton babies was similar to the mean birthweight in every category of gestational age in the spontaneous conceived control group. Stillbirth was 0.4% for both populations (P = 0.99). Good prognosis patients, in whom SET is applied, do not only have a higher chance of conception but do not have an unfavourable outcome of their singleton baby when compared to spontaneous singletons.

Reference

De Neubourg D, Gerris J, Mangelschots K, Van Royen E, Vercruyssen M, Steylemans A, Elseviers M. The obstetrical and neonatal outcome of babies born after single-embryo transfer in IVF/ICSI compares favourably to spontaneously conceived babies. Hum Reprod. 2006 Apr;21(4):1041-6.

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2. Comparative birth weights of singletons born after assisted reproduction and natural conception in previously infertile women.

The possible interference of assisted reproduction techniques (ART) with epigenetic reprogramming during early embryo development has recently sparked renewed interest about the reported lower birth weight among infants born as a consequence of infertility treatments. However, the latter finding so far has relied on the comparison of the birth weight of infants conceived with ART to general population data. A more appropriate comparison group should involve pregnancies in infertile women after natural conception. Therefore, we compared neonatal birth weight data of infants born after various ART treatments, including intrauterine insemination (IUI), with those of previously infertile women achieving pregnancy after sexual intercourse. Between August 1996 and March 2004 the data of all infertile women presenting in the infertility unit of the University Women's Hospital of Basel, Switzerland, were collected prospectively, adding up to 995 intact pregnancies and deliveries. The birth weight of all infants resulting from 741 singleton pregnancies were analysed with regard to the patients' characteristics, the occurrence of complications during pregnancy and the type of infertility treatment with which the pregnancies were achieved. Comparison of duration of pregnancy and birth weight of infants born after infertility treatment confirms a shorter pregnancy span and a lower mean birth weight in infants born after IVF and ICSI. If women with pregnancies after ART deliver before term, neonatal birth weight is significantly lower. There is a specific effect of ART, mainly IVF and ICSI, on both shortening the duration of pregnancy and lowering neonatal birth weight. Both these parameters seem to be interrelated consequences of some modification in the gestational process induced by the infertility treatment. Freezing and thawing of oocytes in the pronucleate stage had a lesser impact on pregnancy span and on neonatal birth weight.

Reference

De Geyter C, De Geyter M, Steimann S, Zhang H, Holzgreve W. Comparative birth weights of singletons born after assisted reproduction and natural conception in previously infertile women. Hum Reprod. 2006 Mar;21(3):705-12.

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3. High plasma concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls and phthalate esters in women with endometriosis: a prospective case control study.

The objective of this study was to detect the probable association between polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and phthalate esters (PEs), and the occurrence of endometriosis in a prospective case control study. We found that PCBs and PEs may be instrumental in the etiology of endometriosis.

Reference

Reddy BS, Rozati R, Reddy S, Kodampur S, Reddy P, Reddy R. High plasma concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls and phthalate esters in women with endometriosis: a prospective case control study. Fertil Steril. 2006 Mar;85(3):775-9

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4. Prevalence and distribution of adnexal findings suggesting endometriosis in patients with MR diagnosis of adenomyosis.

The purpose of this investigation was to establish the prevalence and distribution of MR findings associated with pelvic endometriosis in patients with a MRI diagnosis of adenomyosis. Retrospective review of the pelvic MRI in 59 patients (age 32-54 years, mean 42 years) who met strict MRI criteria for adenomyosis was performed. T1 weighted fat saturated and T2 weighted images in these patients were reviewed for the presence or absence of T1 bright signal suggesting endometriosis in any of nine locations (uterine serosa, right and left ovary, right and left fallopian tube, right and left broad ligament, and right and left pelvic side wall). 20 (20/59) patients (34%), showed characteristic MRI features associated with endometriosis. A total of 54 sites of involvement were identified (uterine serosa n = 17, ovaries n = 14, broad ligaments n = 10, fallopian tubes n = 8, pelvic side walls n = 5) in 20 patients with an average of 2.7 sites per patient. Implants (n = 43) were more common than endometriomas (n = 11). Endometriomas occurred most often in the ovaries (ovaries n = 9, broad ligament n = 2) whereas implants were seen on all locations (uterine serosa n = 17, ovaries n = 5, broad ligaments n = 8, fallopian tubes n = 8, pelvic side walls n = 5). One third of patients with adenomyosis diagnosed by MRI also had MRI findings of endometriosis, with serosal implants being the most common finding. Imaging protocols should routinely include T1 weighted fat saturated imaging sequences in order to detect coexistent endometriosis in patents undergoing pelvic MRI for the diagnosis of adenomyosis.

Reference

Zacharia TT, O'Neill MJ. Prevalence and distribution of adnexal findings suggesting endometriosis in patients with MR diagnosis of adenomyosis. Br J Radiol. 2006

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Gerhard Leyendecker