Biochemical pregnancy after fertilization of an oocyte aspirated from a heterotopic autotransplant of cryopreserved ovarian tissue: Case Report

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Autotransplantation of frozen/thawed ovarian tissue in women undergoing cancer therapy has so far led to the birth of two healthy babies. In both cases, it can be discussed whether the fertilized oocyte originated from the transplant or from the native ovary. We now present a biochemical pregnancy achieved after heterotopical autotransplantation of cryopreserved ovarian cortical tissue and hence the unquestionable proof that pregnancy can occur after transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue. A woman diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma had ovarian tissue cryopreserved at the age of 28, before receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy that rendered her amenorrhoeic. After complete remission, she had autotransplantation of ovarian tissue to the remaining ovary, to the right pelvic wall and to a midline subperitoneal pocket on the lower abdominal wall. The transplanted tissue resumed hormone secretion and follicles developed in all three locations. Three times during 8 months, when follicles could not be visualized in other locations, oocytes were aspirated from the subperitoneal autotransplanted tissue on the lower abdominal wall. Twice, an oocyte was retrieved, fertilized by intracytoplasmatic sperm injection (ICSI) and transferred to the woman’s uterus. One of the treatments resulted in a positive pregnancy test 14 days after transfer. Clinical pregnancy, however, was not achieved. In conclusion, heterotopic autotransplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue can sustain follicle development. The oocytes of aspirated mature follicles are capable of fertilization after ICSI, and the resulting embryo is competent of producing hCG at detectable levels.

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