Can preimplantation genetic diagnosis overcome recurrent pregnancy failure?

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is widely used for the detection of embryo aneuploidy before implantation, with the aim of avoiding miscarriage or pregnancy termination of an aneuploid fetus. The majority of first trimester miscarriages occur due to chromosomal imbalances. The aim of this review is to assess whether preimplantation genetic diagnosis can help women who suffer from recurrent pregnancy loss.

Recent findings

Several in-vitro fertilization clinics have employed preimplantation genetic diagnosis in women with recurrent pregnancy loss. Patients were classified into groups according to their age. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis was very successful in treating couples where one of the parents was a carrier of a balanced chromosomal abnormality such as a translocation. Similarly, recurrent pregnancy loss rate was reduced in women more than 35 years in age with a normal karyotype. On the other hand, in younger patients the beneficial effect of this procedure is debatable. In general, women with recurrent pregnancy loss produced more abnormal embryos than control groups.

Summary

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis can be beneficial for three major subgroups of patients with recurrent pregnancy loss: couples carrying chromosomal translocations; women more than 35 years of age; women of any age whose previous miscarriages were due to fetal aneuploidy. It is likely that the rate of miscarriage will be further reduced with the new advances in methods of performing preimplantation genetic diagnosis for more chromosomes.

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