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Dunlap B.,Northwestern University | Shelke K.,Corvus Blue LLC | Salem S.A.,Pacific Reproductive Center | Keith L.G.,Northwestern University
Journal of Experimental and Clinical Assisted Reproduction | Year: 2011

This article presents data on the current best evidence-based clinical practices and controversies surrounding folic acid supplementation/fortification for the prevention of neural tube defects (NTDs) during early pregnancy. Formatted as a series of ten clinical questions, answers and extensive discussion are provided for each point. We assess the history and evidence behind supplementation and fortification, racial/ethnic disparities in NTDs on a global scale, and present information on risk factors for NTDs other than dietary folic acid deficiency. Also discussed are public health challenges, including disparities in NTD rates, population-wide monitoring of NTDs, and tracking safety data in the post-fortification era. Emerging data are also reviewed regarding the role folic acid may play in malignant processes, cardiovascular disease, male fertility, and other medical conditions. © 2011 Dunlap et al. Source


Jones C.A.,University of Vermont | Jones C.A.,European Center for International Political economics | Sills E.S.,University of Westminster | Sills E.S.,Pacific Reproductive Center
Ulster Medical Journal | Year: 2013

Viewing human history through a medical lens provides a renewed appreciation for today's vexing reproductive challenges, as some modern dilemmas are actually continuations of similar challenges experienced long ago. Certainly there are many examples of assisted fertility therapy that were entirely theoretical only a generation ago, but have become commonplace in modern practice and society. In particular posthumous birth and infertility have, over time, been the focus of compelling social interest, occasionally even impacting national security and dynastic succession. While the concepts have remained static, the tools available to extend and improve reproductive success have changed radically. Appropriately regarded as confidential and private, an individual's reproductive details are typically impervious to formal study. Yet, archival sources including ancient literature and formal court records can occasionally provide evidence of otherwise deeply personal concerns of a different era. Our assessment finds the issues, worries, and desires of patients of antiquity to align closely with contemporary reproductive challenges. Because children and family have always been central to the human experience, the consequences of reproduction (or the lack thereof) can make substantial imprints upon the cultural, economic, and political landscape-irrespective of civilization or century. In this article, selected motifs are described in a broad historical context to illustrate how challenges of human reproduction have remained essentially unchanged, despite a vast accumulation of knowledge made possible by gains in reproductive science and technology. © The Ulster Medical Society, 2013. Source


Yang Z.,ZytoGen Global Genetics Institute | Yang Z.,Reproductive Fertility Center | Lin J.,Reproductive Fertility Center | Zhang J.,New Hope Fertility Center | And 7 more authors.
BMC Medical Genomics | Year: 2015

Background: Recent advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) have provided new methods for preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) of human embryos from in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. However, there is still limited information about clinical applications of NGS in IVF and PGS (IVF-PGS) treatments. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of NGS screening on clinical pregnancy and implantation outcomes for PGS patients in comparison to array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) screening. Methods: This study was performed in two phases. Phase I study evaluated the accuracy of NGS for aneuploidy screening in comparison to aCGH. Whole-genome amplification (WGA) products (n∈=∈164) derived from previous IVF-PGS cycles (n∈=∈38) were retrospectively analyzed with NGS. The NGS results were then compared with those of aCGH. Phase II study further compared clinical pregnancy and implantation outcomes between NGS and aCGH for IVF-PGS patients. A total of 172 patients at mean age 35.2∈±∈3.5 years were randomized into two groups: 1) NGS (Group A): patients (n∈=∈86) had embryos screened with NGS and 2) aCGH (Group B): patients (n∈=∈86) had embryos screened with aCGH. For both groups, blastocysts were vitrified after trophectoderm biopsy. One to two euploid blastocysts were thawed and transferred to individual patients primarily based on the PGS results. Ongoing pregnancy and implantation rates were compared between the two study groups. Results: NGS detected all types of aneuploidies of human blastocysts accurately and provided a 100 % 24-chromosome diagnosis consistency with the highly validated aCGH method. Moreover, NGS screening identified euploid blastocysts for transfer and resulted in similarly high ongoing pregnancy rates for PGS patients compared to aCGH screening (74.7 % vs. 69.2 %, respectively, p >0.05). The observed implantation rates were also comparable between the NGS and aCGH groups (70.5 % vs. 66.2 %, respectively, p >0.05). Conclusions: While NGS screening has been recently introduced to assist IVF patients, this is the first randomized clinical study on the efficiency of NGS for preimplantation genetic screening in comparison to aCGH. With the observed high accuracy of 24-chromosome diagnosis and the resulting high ongoing pregnancy and implantation rates, NGS has demonstrated an efficient, robust high-throughput technology for PGS. © 2015 Yang et al. Source


Yang Z.,Pacific Reproductive Center | Salem S.A.,Pacific Reproductive Center | Liu X.,Beijing Jia en de Yun Hospital | Kuang Y.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Cytogenetics | Year: 2013

Background: In assisted reproductive treatments, embryos remaining after fresh embryo transfer are usually selected for cryopreservation based on traditional morphology assessment. Our previous report has demonstrated that array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) screening for IVF patients with good prognosis significantly improves clinical and ongoing pregnancy rates in fresh embryo transfer cycles. The current study further investigates the efficiency of applying aCGH in the selection of euploid embryos for cryopreservation as related to pregnancy and implantation outcomes in subsequent frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycles. Methods. First-time IVF patients with good prognosis undergoing fresh single embryo transfer and having at least one remaining blastocyst for cryopreservation were prospectively randomized into two groups: 1) Group A patients had embryos assessed by morphology first and then by aCGH screening of trophectoderm cells and 2) Group B patients had embryos evaluated by morphology alone. All patients had at least one blastocyst available for cryopreservation after fresh embryo transfer. There were 15 patients in Group A and 23 patients in Group B who failed to conceive after fresh embryo transfer and completed the FET cycles. Blastocyst survival and implantation rates were compared between the two groups. Results: There were no significant differences in blastocyst survival rates between Group A and Group B (90.9% vs. 91.3%, respectively; p >0.05). However, a significantly higher implantation rate was observed in the morphology assessment plus aCGH screening group compared to the morphology assessment alone group (65.0% vs. 33.3%, respectively; p = 0.038). There was no miscarriage observed in Group A while a 16.7% miscarriage rate was recorded in Group B (0% vs. 16.7%, respectively; p >0.05). Conclusions: While aCGH screening has been recently applied to select euploid blastocysts for fresh transfer in young, low-risk IVF patients, this is the first prospective study on the impact of aCGH specifically on blastocyst survival and implantation outcomes in the subsequent FET cycles of IVF patients with good prognosis. The present study demonstrates that aCGH screening of blastocysts prior to cryopreservation significantly improves implantation rates and may reduce the risk of miscarriage in subsequent FET cycles. Further randomized clinical studies with a larger sample size are needed to validate these preliminary findings. © 2013 Yang et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Sills E.S.,Pacific Reproductive Center | Sills E.S.,Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland | Collins G.S.,University of Oxford | Brady A.C.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | And 5 more authors.
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology | Year: 2011

Background: To report on relationships among baseline serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) measurements, blastocyst development and other selected embryology parameters observed in non-donor oocyte IVF cycles.Methods: Pre-treatment AMH was measured in patients undergoing IVF (n = 79) and retrospectively correlated to in vitro embryo development noted during culture.Results: Mean (+/- SD) age for study patients in this study group was 36.3 ± 4.0 (range = 28-45) yrs, and mean (+/- SD) terminal serum estradiol during IVF was 5929 +/- 4056 pmol/l. A moderate positive correlation (0.49; 95% CI 0.31 to 0.65) was noted between basal serum AMH and number of MII oocytes retrieved. Similarly, a moderate positive correlation (0.44) was observed between serum AMH and number of early cleavage-stage embryos (95% CI 0.24 to 0.61), suggesting a relationship between serum AMH and embryo development in IVF. Of note, serum AMH levels at baseline were significantly different for patients who did and did not undergo blastocyst transfer (15.6 vs. 10.9 pmol/l; p = 0.029).Conclusions: While serum AMH has found increasing application as a predictor of ovarian reserve for patients prior to IVF, its roles to estimate in vitro embryo morphology and potential to advance to blastocyst stage have not been extensively investigated. These data suggest that baseline serum AMH determinations can help forecast blastocyst developmental during IVF. Serum AMH measured before treatment may assist patients, clinicians and embryologists as scheduling of embryo transfer is outlined. Additional studies are needed to confirm these correlations and to better define the role of baseline serum AMH level in the prediction of blastocyst formation. © 2011 Sills et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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