[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Translocation carriers have an increased risk of miscarriage or the birth of a child with congenital anomalies. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is performed in translocation carriers to select for balanced embryos and, thus, increase the chance of an ongoing pregnancy. However, a common experience is that reciprocal translocation carriers produce a high percentage of unbalanced embryos, which cannot be transferred. Therefore, the pregnancy rates in PGD in this patient group are low. In a cohort of 85 reciprocal translocation carriers undergoing PGD we have searched for cytogenetic OPEN ACCESS J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3 349 characteristics of the translocations that can predict the percentage of balanced embryos. Using shape algorithms, the most likely segregation mode per translocation was determined. Shape algorithm, breakpoint location, and relative chromosome segment sizes proved not to be independent predictors of the percentage of balanced embryos. The ratio of the relative sizes of the translocated segments of both translocation chromosomes can give some insight into the chance of transferable embryos: Very asymmetrical translocations have a higher risk of unbalanced products (p = 0.048). Counseling of the couples on the pros and cons of all their reproductive options remains very important.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) reporting rates from sexually transmitted infection clinics and general practitioners have shown a rising trend in the Netherlands. It is unknown to what extent this reflects increased CT transmission or improved case finding. To achieve more insight into the CT epidemic, we explored the CT IgG seroprevalence (a marker of past CT infection) in the general population of the Netherlands in 1996 and in 2007.
From two population-based studies in 1996 and 2007, serum samples, demographic and sexual behaviour outcomes were examined, including 1246 men and 1930 women aged 15-39 years. Serum CT IgG antibodies were analysed using the Medac CT IgG ELISA test. Multivariate logistic regression analyses explored the seroprevalence and determinants over time.
The CT IgG seroprevalence was higher in women than in men (10% vs 6%). Among women aged 25-39 years the seroprevalence was lower in 2007 (9%) than in 1996 (14%; adjusted OR (aOR) 0.6, 95% CI 0.4 to 0.8). There was no statistical evidence of a difference in seroprevalence within birth cohorts. Factors associated with seropositivity were male gender (aOR 0.4, 95% CI 0.3 to 0.7), a self-reported history of CT infection (aOR 5.1, 95% CI 2.6 to 10.0), age 25-39 years (aOR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.7), non-Western ethnicity (aOR 2.2, 95% CI 1.4 to 3.3) and ≥2 recent sexual partners (aOR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3 to 3.5).
Between 1996 and 2007 the proportion of individuals in the general population with CT IgG antibodies was lower among women aged 25-39 years, but remained similar among younger women and men.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Do paternal and maternal lifestyle factors influence the risk of hypertensive pregnancy complications, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), spontaneous preterm birth and small-for-gestational-age (SGA)?
Paternal lifestyle factors do not exert an independent effect on the investigated outcomes while maternal prepregnancy BMI and maternal smoking during pregnancy influence the risk of hypertensive pregnancy complications, GDM and SGA.
Maternal lifestyle factors are associated with perinatal complications, but the impact of paternal lifestyle factors is unclear.
Data from the GECKO (Groningen Expert Center for Kids with Obesity) Drenthe cohort, a prospective population-based birth-cohort of children born between April 2006 and April 2007 in a northern province of The Netherlands, were analysed. The parents of 2958 children (62% of those approached) gave their consent to participate in the study and the data of 2264 (77%) couples were available for analysis.
All pregnant women in the Dutch province of Drenthe with an expected date of delivery between April 2006 and April 2007 were invited to participate and included during the third trimester of their pregnancy or within 6 months after delivery. All consenting couples received extensive questionnaires including lifestyle, biological and socio-demographic-related questions covering the period of 6 months prior to conception. Outcome data were obtained from midwives and hospital registries. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to determine the impact of the lifestyle factors on the primary outcome measures.
Of all 2264 women, 241 women (10.6%) developed a hypertensive pregnancy complication, 50 women (2.2%) developed GDM, 79 (3.5%) children were spontaneously delivered preterm and 155 children (6.8%) were SGA. All paternal and maternal lifestyle factors were positively correlated. Multivariable analysis showed that paternal lifestyle factors did not have an independent influence on the investigated outcomes. Of the maternal factors, prepregnancy BMI was independently associated with an increased risk of a hypertensive disorder during pregnancy (odds ratio (OR): 1.12, 95% CI 1.09-1.16), a higher risk of GDM (OR BMI >23 kg/m(2), per BMI unit: 1.13, 95% CI 1.08-1.18) and with a decreased risk of SGA (OR per BMI point 0.94, 95% CI 0.90-0.99). Maternal smoking during pregnancy was significantly associated with SGA (OR 3.00, 95% CI 1.80-4.99) in multivariable analysis.
The retrospective nature of the questionnaire may have induced recall bias. Selection bias might have occurred, as ethnic minorities were less willing to co-operate in the GECKO Drenthe study. The possibility of misclassification bias regarding the primary outcome measures cannot be ruled out. Inclusion bias might have occurred as not all questionnaires of the parents of the children participating in the GECKO Drenthe cohort were completed.
Paternal lifestyle factors do not have an independent effect on the investigated adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, as paternal and maternal lifestyles are positively correlated, both partners should be involved in preconception counselling regarding the investigated outcome measures.
GECKO is supported and funded by an unrestricted grant from Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, University of Groningen and Well Baby Clinic Foundation Icare, Drenthe, The Netherlands. M.A.Q.M. is supported by a research grant from the Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw; Prevention Program-Health Care Efficiency Research; project number 50-50110-96-518). The department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology received research grants from Merck Sharpe and Dohme BV, Ferring pharmaceuticals, Merck Serono, the Netherlands.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Chlamydia infections often follow an asymptomatic course but may damage the reproductive tract. Chlamydia antibodies in serum are used as markers for past infections and can relate to tubal pathology and infertility. This "proof of principle" study aimed to assess whether Chlamydia antibodies are detectable in easier to obtain, noninvasive, vaginal mucosa samples and relate to current or past infection. Methods. We compared outcomes of Chlamydia IgG and IgA antibody tests in serum and vaginal mucosal swabs in (a) 77 women attending a fertility clinic, of whom 25 tested positive for serum-IgG and (b) 107 women visiting an STI centre, including 30 Chlamydia PCR-positive subjects. Results. In the STI clinic, active Chlamydia infections were linked to serum-IgG and serum-IgA (P < 0.001) and mucosa-IgA (P < 0.001), but not mucosa-IgG. In the fertility clinic, mucosa-IgG had stronger correlations with serum-IgG (P = 0.02) than mucosa-IgA (P = 0.06). Women with tubal pathology or Chlamydia history more commonly had serum-IgG and mucosa-IgA (both P < 0.001), whereas this link was weaker for mucosa-IgG (P = 0.03). Conclusion. Chlamydia IgG and IgA are detectable in vaginal mucosal material. Serum-IgG had stronger associations with current or past infections. Mucosa-IgA also showed associations with (past) infection and complications. IgA presence in vaginal mucosa warrants further epidemiological studies.
Obstetrics and Gynecology International 01/2014; 2014:601932.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Can modified natural cycle IVF or ICSI (MNC) be a cost-effective alternative for controlled ovarian hyperstimulation IVF or ICSI (COH)?
The comparison of simulated scenarios indicates that a strategy of three to six cycles of MNC with minimized medication is a cost-effective alternative for one cycle of COH with strict application of single embryo transfer (SET).
MNC is cheaper per cycle than COH but also less effective in terms of live birth rate (LBR). However, strict application of SET in COH cycles reduces effectiveness and up to three MNC cycles can be performed at the same costs as one COH cycle.
The cost-effectiveness of MNC versus COH was evaluated in three simulated treatment scenarios: three cycles of MNC versus one cycle of COH with SET or double embryo transfer (DET) and subsequent transfer of cryopreserved embryos (Scenario 1); six cycles of MNC versus one cycle of COH with strictly SET and subsequent transfer of cryopreserved embryos (Scenario 2); six cycles of MNC with minimized medication (hCG ovulation trigger only) versus one cycle of COH with SET or DET and subsequent transfer of cryopreserved embryos (Scenario 3). We used baseline data obtained from two retrospective cohorts of consecutive patients (2005-2008) undergoing MNC in the University Medical Center Groningen (n = 499, maximum six cycles per patient) or their first COH cycle with subsequent transfer of cryopreserved embryos in the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam (n = 392).
Data from 1994 MNC cycles (958 MNC-IVF and 1036 MNC-ICSI) and 392 fresh COH cycles (one per patient, 196 COH-IVF and 196 COH-ICSI) with subsequent transfer of cryopreserved embryos (n = 72 and n = 94 in MNC and COH cycles, respectively) in ovulatory, subfertile women <36 years of age served as baseline for the three simulated scenarios. To compare the scenarios, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was calculated, defined as the ratio of the difference in IVF costs up to 6 weeks postpartum to the difference in LBR. Live birth was the primary outcome measure and was defined as the birth of at least one living child after a gestation of ≥25 weeks.
In the baseline data, MNC was not cost-effective, as COH dominated MNC with a higher cumulative LBR (27.0 versus 24.0%) and lower cost per patient (€3694 versus €5254). The simulations showed that in scenario 1 three instead of six cycles lowered the costs of MNC to below the level of COH (€3390 versus €3694, respectively), but also lowered the LBR per patient (from 24.0 to 16.2%, respectively); Scenario 2: COH with strict SET was less effective than six cycles MNC (LBR 17.5 versus 24.0%, respectively), but also less expensive per patient (€2908) than MNC (€5254); Scenario 3: improved the cost-effectiveness of MNC but COH still dominated MNC when medication was minimized in terms of costs, i.e. €855 difference in favor of COH and 3% difference in LBR in favor of COH (ICER: €855/-3.0%).
Owing to the retrospective nature of the study, the analyses required some assumptions, for example regarding the costs of pregnancy and delivery, which had to be based on the literature rather than on individual data. Furthermore, costs of IVF treatment were based on tariffs and not on actual costs. Although this may limit the external generalizability of the results, the limitations will influence both treatments equally, and would therefore not bias the comparison of MNC versus COH.
The combined results suggest that MNC with minimized medication might be a cost-effective alternative for COH with strict SET. The scenarios reflect realistic alternatives for daily clinical practice. A preference for MNC depends on the willingness to trade off effectiveness in terms of LBR against the benefits of a milder stimulation regimen, including a very low rate of multiple pregnancies and hyperstimulation syndrome and ensuing lower costs per live birth.
The study was supported by research grants from Merck Serono and Ferring Pharmaceuticals. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is offered to couples carrying a reciprocal translocation in an attempt to increase their chance of phenotypically normal offspring. For the selection of embryos that are balanced for the translocation chromosomes, it is critical to use a combination of DNA probes that can take account of all the segregation patterns of the particular translocation. The frequency of the different segregation types differs depending on the chromosomes involved, the location of the breakpoints and the number of chiasmata and the sex of the carrier. We report on a case of misdiagnosis after PGD-fluorescence in situ hybridization in a female translocation 46,X,t(X;5)(q13;p14) carrier. Transfer of two embryos diagnosed as balanced for the translocation chromosomes resulted in a singleton pregnancy that miscarried at 8 weeks' gestational age. The unbalanced karyotype of the fetus was consistent with 3:1 segregation resulting in tertiary trisomy for the derivative chromosome 5: 47,XX,+der(5)t(X;5)(q13;p14)mat. Based on additional molecular cytogenetic studies of fetal tissue and the initially investigated blastomeres, we concluded that the misdiagnosis was most probably due to a technical error, i.e. a partial hybridization failure or co-localization of the Xq/Yq subtelomere probe signals. No evidence for a normal cell line (mosaicism) was found in the fetus, which could have explained the discrepancy. This case demonstrates the importance of using two diagnostic probes or testing 2 cells to detect translocation products with potentially viable imbalance. X;autosome translocations are a special case due to the added complication of X chromosome inactivation and particular caution is advised when designing a PGD strategy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modified natural-cycle IVF has a lower pregnancy rate per started cycle as compared with IVF with ovarian stimulation due to, for example, premature ovulation. Indometacin administered before ovulation prevents follicle rupture. Therefore, addition of indometacin may improve the effectiveness of modified natural-cycle IVF. This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial with indometacin or placebo in 120 women aged 27-36years compared the number of patients without premature ovulation as compared with the number of patients with one or more ovulations in a maximum of six cycles. Indometacin had no significant influence on the probability of a premature ovulation in patients during the six cycles (OR 2.38, 95% CI 0.94-6.04). A subgroup analysis showed a significant influence of indometacin in decreasing the probability of a premature ovulation in cycles without LH surge at the day of human chorionic gonadotrophin administration (OR 8.29, 95% CI 1.63-42.3, P=0.009). Although this study could not detect a significantly lower ovulation rate in the indometacin group versus the placebo group, the data suggest that a subgroup of patients without LH surge prior to oocyte retrieval might benefit from indometacin in modified natural-cycle IVF. Modified natural-cycle IVF is a mild form of IVF, with a lower pregnancy rate per started cycle as compared with IVF with ovarian stimulation because of several unfavourable cycle events, such as ovulation before oocyte retrieval. Indometacin is a cheap drug, commonly used to reduce fever, pain and swelling caused by inflammation. It has been shown that indometacin administered before ovulation prevents this from happening. Therefore, it has been suggested that indometacin may improve the effectiveness of modified natural-cycle IVF. In this study, we assigned 120 women aged 27-36years randomly to an indometacin group (60 women) and a group of women who used placebo (also 60 women). We evaluated whether indometacin could indeed prevent ovulation during a maximum of six modified natural-cycle IVF cycles. When we compared the two groups of women, indometacin did not seem to prevent ovulation compared with women who used placebo. Within these groups, however, the patients with a low level of LH (a hormone involved in ovulation) on the day that administration indometacin or placebo was started, indometacin did decrease the chance of an untimely ovulation. So although we could not detect a lower ovulation rate in the indometacin group versus the placebo group, our data suggest that a subgroup of patients with low LH concentrations prior to oocyte retrieval might benefit from indometacin in modified natural-cycle IVF.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To compare the means and changes over time of intra-abdominal fat (IAF) and subcutaneous abdominal fat (SAF) measured by abdominal ultrasound (US) and Computerised Tomography (CT). DESIGN AND METHODS: Prospective cohort study of 53 women with obesity and infertility undergoing a lifestyle program. RESULTS: The Pearson's correlation between IAF measurement by US compared to CT was good at baseline, month three and month six (all r ≥ 0.72). The correlation of SAF measurement by US compared to CT was reasonable at baseline (r = 0.54; 95%CI 0.30-0.78) and weak at month three and month six (all r ≤ 0.39). The correlation between the changes in IAF over 3 and 6 months by US compared to CT was reasonable and significant respectively (all r ≤ 0.48). US could not measure the changes of SAF over time. The Bland-Altman plot showed good agreement between US and CT for IAF measurements (-1.1 [95%CI -3.9 - 1.6] cm lower mean in US) at baseline. For changes of IAF over time, mean estimates were in agreement. CONCLUSION: In women with obesity and infertility, measuring IAF by US is in good agreement with the CT scan methodology but the measurement of SAF by US is unreliable.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: STUDY QUESTION: What are the dropout rates in lifestyle intervention programs (LIPs) for overweight and obese infertile women and can intervention- or patient-related baseline factors associated with dropout be identified in these women? SUMMARY ANSWER: The median dropout rate was 24% in overweight and obese infertile women who participated in a LIP; clinical useful intervention or patient-related factors associated with dropout could not be identified. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Overweight and obese infertile women might improve their chance of conception when they improve their lifestyle and lose weight. Dropout from LIPs reduces the chance of losing considerable weight and is therefore considered to be an important limiting factor of the success of LIPs. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This systematic review included 15 studies published between January 1980 and December 2012. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: The included studies investigated the effect of LIPs for overweight and obese infertile women with infertility. From these studies, dropout rates and intervention- and patient-related baseline factors associated with dropout, as well as weight loss and pregnancy rates, were recorded. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: There were 15 studies identified, of which 10 reported dropout rates. The median dropout rate was 24% (range: 0-31%). Four studies reported baseline characteristics of women who dropped out, but modifiable predictors of dropout could not be identified. Weight loss and pregnancy rates were lower in women who dropped out than in women who completed the LIPs. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: There were limited numbers of studies investigating patient-related factors associated with dropout. The heterogeneity in the studies precluded us from drawing firm conclusions on the relation between the type of intervention and dropout. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Dropout from LIPs is a major drawback because it predisposes to less weight loss and lower pregnancy rates. Identification of predictors of dropout is needed to identify overweight and obese infertile women who are prone for dropout. These women might benefit from extra support and monitoring, to potentially increasing adherence rates, weight loss and pregnancy chances. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): M.A.Q.M. was supported by a research grant from the Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw). The department of obstetrics and gynaecology received research grants from Merck Sharpe and Dohme BV, feering pharmaceuticals, Merck Serono, the Netherlands.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tubal patency tests are routinely performed in the diagnostic work-up of subfertile patients, but it is unknown whether these diagnostic tests add value beyond the information obtained by medical history taking and findings at physical examination. We used individual patient data meta-analysis to assess this question.
We approached authors of primary studies for data sets containing information on patient characteristics and results from tubal patency tests, such as Chlamydia antibody test (CAT), hysterosalpingography (HSG) and laparoscopy. We used logistic regression to create models that predict tubal pathology from medical history and physical examination alone, as well as models in which the results of tubal patency tests are integrated in the patient characteristics model. Laparoscopy was considered to be the reference test.
We obtained data from four studies reporting on 4883 women. The duration of subfertility, number of previous pregnancies and a history of previous pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), pelvic surgery or Chlamydia infection qualified for the patient characteristics model. This model showed an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.63 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.61-0.65]. For any tubal pathology, the addition of HSG significantly improved the predictive performance to an AUC of 0.74 (95% CI 0.73-0.76) (P < 0.001). For bilateral tubal pathology, the addition of both CAT and HSG increased the predictive performance to an AUC of 0.76 (95% CI 0.74-0.79).
In the work-up for subfertile couples, the combination of patient characteristics with CAT and HSG results gives the best diagnostic performance for the diagnosis of bilateral tubal pathology.
Human Reproduction 07/2012; 27(10):2979-90. · 4.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: STUDY QUESTION: How many infertile men who wish to conceive need to be screened for chromosomal abnormalities to prevent one miscarriage or the birth of one child with congenital anomalies (CAs)? SUMMARY ANSWER: In azoospermic men, the prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities is 15.2% and the number needed to be screened (NNS; minimum-maximum estimate) for a miscarriage is 80-88 and for a child with CAs is 790-3951. The prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities in non-azoospermic men is 2.3% and the NNS are 315-347 and 2543-12 723, respectively. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Guidelines advise the screening of infertile men for chromosomal abnormalities to prevent miscarriages and children with congenital abnormalities, but no studies have been published on the effectiveness of this screening strategy. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: Retrospective cohort study of 1223 infertile men between 1994 and 2007. PARTICIPANTS, SETTING, METHODS: Men with azoospermia and men eligible for ICSI treatment visiting a university hospital fertility clinic in The Netherlands who underwent chromosomal analysis between 1994 and 2007 were identified retrospectively in a registry. Only cases of which at least one sperm analysis was available were included. Data were collected by chart review, with a follow-up of pregnancies and their outcomes until 2010. The chromosomal abnormalities were categorized according to their risk of unbalanced offspring, i.e. miscarriage and/or child with CAs. Multi-level analysis was used to estimate the impact of chromosomal abnormalities on the outcome of pregnancies in the different subgroups of our cohort. NNS for miscarriages and children with CAs were calculated based on data from our cohort and data published in the literature. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: A chromosomal abnormality was found in 12 of 79 men with azoospermia (15.2%) and in 26 of 1144 non-azoospermic men (2.3%). The chromosomal abnormalities were categorized based on the literature, into abnormalities with and abnormalities without increased risk for miscarriage and/or child with CAs. In our study group, there was no statistically significant difference between the subgroups with and without increased risk respectively, regarding the frequency of children born with CAs (1/20; 5.0% versus 1/14; 7.1%), miscarriage (9/20; 45.0% versus 2/14; 14.3%) or unaffected liveborn children (9/20; 45.0% versus 9/14; 64.3%). The prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities with a theoretically increased risk of unbalanced progeny was 1.0% in non-azoospermic men and 3.8% in men with azoospermia. For the calculation of the NNS, the risk of an adverse pregnancy outcome in our cohort was compared with the incidence ranges of miscarriage and children with CAs in the general population. The number of azoospermic men that needs to be screened to prevent one miscarriage (80-88) or one child with CAs (790-3951) was considerably lower compared with the NNS in the non-azoospermic group (315-347 and 2543-12 723, respectively). LIMITATIONS, REASON FOR CAUTION: The prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities in infertile men is low, and although we included 1223 men, our conclusions are based on a small number (38) of abnormal karyotypes. As there are no large series on outcomes of pregnancies in infertile men with chromosomal abnormalities, our conclusions had to be partly based on assumptions derived from the literature. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Based on the NNS calculated in our study, screening for chromosomal abnormalities is recommended in all azoospermic men. In non-azoospermic infertile men, screening might be limited to men with an additional risk factor (e.g. a history of recurrent miscarriage or a positive family history for recurrent miscarriage or children with CAs). The NNS can be used in future cost-effectiveness studies and the evaluation of current guidelines on karyotyping infertile men.
Human Reproduction 06/2012; 27(9):2850-6. · 4.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: FSH inactivity due to secondary hypoglycosylation has been suggested as a potential mechanism for primary ovarian insufficiency in classic galactosemia. To investigate the role of FSH and to gain insight in the timing of the damage, ovarian stimulation tests were performed and data on ovarian imaging collected. Fifteen patients with primary ovarian insufficiency underwent ovarian stimulation with gonadotropins. Only one patient showed a normal increase in estradiol level, all the others had a low or no estradiol response. Anti-Müllerian hormone measurement in all girls and women showed levels below the detection limit of 0.10 μg/l. Ovarian volumes were evaluated by MRI in 14 patients and compared to age matched controls, prepubertal controls and postmenopausal controls. The ovarian volumes of the galactosemic girls were smaller than those of the age matched controls (p = 0.001) and the prepubertal ovaries (p = 0.008), and did not differ significantly from postmenopausal ovarian volumes (p = 0.161). In conclusion we found no evidence that FSH inactivity plays a role in primary ovarian insufficiency in classic galactosemia. Moreover, ovarian imaging results point to an early onset of ovarian failure in this disease.
Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease 06/2012; · 4.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that the medium used for culturing IVF embryos affects the birthweight of the resulting newborns. This observation with potentially far-reaching clinical consequences during later life, was made in singletons conceived during the first IVF treatment cycle after the transfer of fresh embryos. In the present study, we hypothesize that in vitro culture of embryos during the first few days of preimplantation development affects perinatal outcome, not only in singletons conceived in all rank order cycles but also in twins and in children born after transfer of frozen embryos. Furthermore, we investigated the effect of culture medium on gestational age (GA) at birth.
Oocytes and embryos from consecutive treatment cycles were alternately assigned to culture in either medium from Vitrolife or from Cook. Data on a cohort of 294 live born singletons conceived after fresh transfer during any of a patient's IVF treatment cycles, as well as data of 67 singletons conceived after frozen embryo transfer (FET) and of 88 children of 44 twin pregnancies after fresh transfer were analysed by means of multiple linear regression.
In vitro culture in medium from Cook resulted in singletons after fresh transfer with a lower mean birthweight (adjusted mean difference, 112 g, P= 0.03), and in more singletons with low birthweight (LBW) <2500 g (P= 0.006) and LBW for GA ≥ 37 weeks (P= 0.015), when compared with singletons born after culture in medium from Vitrolife AB. GA at birth was not related to the medium used (adjusted difference, 0.05 weeks, P = 0.83). Among twins in the Cook group, higher inter-twin mean birthweight disparity and birthweight discordance were found. Z-scores after FET were -0.04 (± 0.14) in the Cook group compared with 0.18 (± 0.21) in the Vitrolife group (P> 0.05).
Our findings support our hypothesis that culture medium influences perinatal outcome of IVF singletons and twins. A similar trend is seen in case of singletons born after FET. GA was not affected by culture medium. These results indicate that in vitro culture might be an important factor explaining the poorer perinatal outcome after assisted reproduction technology (ART). Further research is needed to confirm this culture medium-induced effect in humans and to provide more insight into whether it is caused by epigenetic disturbance of imprinted genes in fetal or placental tissues. Moreover, embryo culture media and their effects need to be investigated thoroughly to select the best embryo culture medium in order to minimize or prevent short-term risks and maybe even long-term disease susceptibility.
Human Reproduction 05/2012; 27(7):1966-76. · 4.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regulation of immune responses is critical for controlling inflammation and disruption of this process can lead to tissue damage. We reported that CXCL13 was induced in fallopian tube tissue following C. trachomatis infection. Here, we examined the influence of the CXCL13-CXCR5 axis in chlamydial genital infection.
Disruption of the CXCL13-CXCR5 axis by injecting anti-CXCL13 Ab to BALB/c mice or using Cxcr5-/- mice increased chronic inflammation in the upper genital tract (UGT; uterine horns and oviducts) after Chlamydia muridarum genital infection (GT). Further studies in Cxcr5-/- mice showed an elevation in bacterial burden in the GT and increased numbers of neutrophils, activated DCs and activated NKT cells early after infection. After resolution, we noted increased fibrosis and the accumulation of a variety of T cells subsets (CD4-IFNγ, CD4-IL-17, CD4-IL-10 & CD8-TNFα) in the oviducts. NKT cell depletion in vitro reduced IL-17α and various cytokines and chemokines, suggesting that activated NKT cells modulate neutrophils and DCs through cytokine/chemokine secretion. Further, chlamydial glycolipids directly activated two distinct types of NKT cell hybridomas in a cell-free CD1d presentation assay and genital infection of Cd1d-/- mice showed reduced oviduct inflammation compared to WT mice. CXCR5 involvement in pathology was also noted using single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis in C. trachomatis infected women attending a sub-fertility clinic. Women who developed tubal pathology after a C. trachomatis infection had a decrease in the frequency of CXCR5 SNP +10950 T>C (rs3922).
These experiments indicate that disruption of the CXCL13-CXCR5 axis permits increased activation of NKT cells by type I and type II glycolipids of Chlamydia muridarum and results in UGT pathology potentially through increased numbers of neutrophils and T cell subsets associated with UGT pathology. In addition, CXCR5 appears to contribute to inter-individual differences in human tubal pathology following C. trachomatis infection.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(11):e47487. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Both maternal and paternal factors have been suggested to influence a couple's fecundity. To investigate this, we examined the role of several maternal and paternal lifestyle and socio-demographic factors as determinants of time to pregnancy (TTP) in a Dutch birth-cohort.
Groningen Expert Center for Kids with Obesity (GECKO) Drenthe is a population-based birth-cohort study of children born between April 2006 and April 2007 in Drenthe, a province of The Netherlands. Both partners received extensive questionnaires during pregnancy. Univariable and multivariable Cox regression analyses were used to determine the impact of the investigated factors on TTP.
A total of 4778 children were born, and the parents of 2997 children (63%) gave their consent to participate. After excluding unintended pregnancies and pregnancies as a result of fertility treatment, the data of 1924 couples were available for analysis. Hazards ratios and 95% confidence intervals of factors influencing TTP in multivariable Cox regression analysis were: maternal age 1.23 (0.98-1.54) for age <25 years, 1.17 (1.03-1.32) for age 25-30 years and 0.72 (0.61-0.85) for age >35 years (reference category: 30-35 years); paternal age: 1.31 (0.94-1.82) for age <25 years, 1.11 (0.97-1.28) for age 25-30 years and 0.91 (0.80-1.04 for age >35 years (reference category: 30-35 years); nulliparity: 0.76 (0.68-0.85) versus multiparity; menstrual cycle length: 1.12 (0.95-1.30) for 3 weeks, 0.72 (0.62-0.83) for 4-6 weeks, 0.68 (0.40-1.16) for >6 weeks and 0.66 (0.54-0.81) for irregular cycle (reference category: 4 weeks); prior contraceptive use: 0.78 (0.67-0.91) for no contraception, 1.68 (1.45-1.95) for condom use, 1.08 (0.89-1.33) for condom use combined with oral contraception, 1.40 (1.16-1.70) for intrauterine device and 0.50 (0.25-1.01) for contraceptive injection (reference category: oral contraception); and maternal educational level 0.75 (0.62-0.92) for low education level and 0.81 (0.73-0.90) for medium educational level (reference category: high educational level).
This population-based birth-cohort study performed in fertile couples who had conceived revealed neither maternal nor paternal modifiable lifestyle factors were significantly associated with TTP after adjustment for confounding by socio-demographic factors. In contrast, several non-modifiable maternal socio-demographic factors are significant predictors of a couple's fecundity.
Human Reproduction 12/2011; 27(2):583-93. · 4.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Based on a presumed negative impact of overweight and obesity on reproductive capacity and pregnancy outcome, some national guidelines and clinicians have argued that there should be an upper limit for a woman's BMI to access assisted reproductive technologies (ART). However, evidence on the risk of complications or expected success rate of ART in obese women is scarce. We therefore performed a systematic review on the subject.
We searched the literature for studies reporting on complications or success rates in overweight and obese women undergoing ART. Articles were scored on methodological quality. We calculated pooled odds ratios (ORs) to express the association between overweight and obesity on the one hand, and complications and success rates of ART on the other hand. We only pooled results if data were available per woman instead of per cycle or embryo transfer.
We detected 14 studies that reported on the association between overweight and complications during or after ART, of which 6 reported on ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), 7 on multiple pregnancies and 6 on ectopic pregnancies. None of the individual studies found a positive association between overweight and ART complications. The pooled ORs for overweight versus normal weight for OHSS, multiple pregnancy and ectopic pregnancy were 1.0 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.77-1.3], 0.97 (95% CI 0.91-1.04) and 0.96 (95% CI 0.54-1.7), respectively. In 27 studies that reported on BMI and the success of ART, the pooled ORs for overweight versus normal weight on live birth, ongoing and clinical pregnancy following ART were OR 0.90 (95% CI 0.82-1.0), 1.01 (95% CI 0.75-1.4) and OR 0.94 (95% CI 0.69-1.3), respectively.
Data on complications following ART are scarce and therefore a registration system should be implemented in order to gain more insight into this subject. In the available literature, there is no evidence of overweight or obesity increasing the risk of complications following ART. Furthermore, they only marginally reduce the success rates. Based on the currently available data, overweight and obesity in itself should not be a reason to withhold ART.
Human Reproduction 12/2011; 27(2):457-67. · 4.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities is assumed to be higher in infertile men and inversely correlated with sperm concentration. Although guidelines advise karyotyping infertile men, karyotyping is costly, therefore it would be of benefit to identify men with the highest risk of chromosomal abnormalities, possibly by using parameters other than sperm concentration. The aim of this study was to evaluate several clinical parameters in azoospermic and non-azoospermic men, in order to assess the prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities in different subgroups of infertile men.
In a retrospective cohort of 1223 azoospermic men and men eligible for ICSI treatment, we studied sperm parameters, hormone levels and medical history for an association with chromosomal abnormalities.
The prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities in the cohort was 3.1%. No association was found between chromosomal abnormalities and sperm volume, concentration, progressive motility or total motile sperm count. Azoospermia was significantly associated with the presence of a chromosomal abnormality [15.2%, odds ratio (OR) 7.70, P < 0.001]. High gonadotrophin levels were also associated with an increased prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities (OR 2.96, P = 0.013). Azoospermic men with a positive andrologic history had a lower prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities than azoospermic men with an uneventful history (OR 0.28, P = 0.047). In non-azoospermic men, we found that none of the studied variables were associated with the prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities.
We show that the highest prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities is found in hypergonadotrophic azoospermic men with an uneventful andrologic history.
Human Reproduction 11/2011; 27(1):36-43. · 4.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The relation between Chlamydia trachomatis infection and subsequent tubal damage is widely recognized. As such, C. trachomatis antibody (CAT) testing can be used to triage women for immediate tubal testing with hysterosalpingography (HSG) or laparoscopy. However, once invasive tubal testing has ruled out tubal pathology, CAT serology status is ignored, as its clinical significance is currently unknown. This study aimed to determine whether positive CAT serology is associated with lower spontaneous pregnancy rates in women in whom HSG and/or diagnostic laparoscopy showed no visible tubal pathology.
We studied ovulatory women in whom HSG or laparoscopy showed patent tubes. Women were tested for C. trachomatis immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies with either micro-immunofluorescence (MIF) or an ELISA. CAT serology was positive if the MIF titre was ≥ 1:32 or if the ELISA index was >1.1. The proportion of couples pregnant without treatment was estimated at 12 months of follow-up. Time to pregnancy was considered censored at the date of the last contact when the woman was not pregnant or at the start of treatment. The association between CAT positivity and an ongoing pregnancy was evaluated with Cox regression analyses.
Of the 1882 included women without visible tubal pathology, 338 (18%) had a treatment-independent pregnancy within 1 year [estimated cumulative pregnancy rate 31%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 27-35%]. Because of differential censoring after 9 months of follow-up, regression analyses were limited to the first 9 months after tubal testing. Positive C. trachomatis IgG serology was associated with a statistically significant 33% lower probability of an ongoing pregnancy [adjusted fecundity rate ratio 0.66 (95% CI 0.49-0.89)].
Even after HSG or laparoscopy has shown no visible tubal pathology, subfertile women with a positive CAT have lower pregnancy chances than CAT negative women. After external validation, this finding could be incorporated into existing prognostic models.
Human Reproduction 09/2011; 26(11):3061-7. · 4.67 Impact Factor