PloS one 2017 10 0512(10) e0185747 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0185747
Is the timing of vitrification after trophectoderm (TE) biopsy associated with successful implantation and pregnancy after the embryo transfer of blastocysts subjected to preimplantation genetic screening (PGS)? In this retrospective cohort study, 1329 blastocysts from 223 patients were subjected to TE biopsy for performing array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) tests. The PGS and frozen blastocyst transfer (FET) cycles were performed from December 2012 to May 2015. Only the good quality and expanded blastocysts on day 5 or 6 were selected for biopsy. After TE biopsy, the re-expansion grades relative to the original blastocoel were (1) collapsed blastocysts (CB), (2) 3/4 re-expansion but not full expansion (RE), and (3) full re-expansion or hatching (FE). All biopsied blastocysts were subjected to vitrification within 0.5-6 h after biopsy; the time intervals between TE biopsy and vitrification and the expansion grades at the time of vitrification were recorded. By combining two factors, namely the expansion grades and culture intervals between biopsy and vitrification, the patients were further divided into four groups, namely CB with a < 3 h culture interval (n = 34 cycles, Group I), RE and FE blastocysts with a < 3 h culture interval (n = 10 cycles, Group II); CB blastocysts with a ≥ 3 h culture interval (n = 6 cycles, Group III); and RE or FE blastocysts with a ≥ 3 h culture interval (n = 173 cycles, Group IV). The implantation (63.7%, 179/281) and clinical pregnancy (74.0%, 128/173) rates in Group IV were significantly higher than those in Group I (45.3%, 24/53; 50.0%, 17/34; P = 0.012 and 0.005, respectively). According to our findings, optimal vitrification timing > 3 hours to enable blastocysts to reach RE or FE provides improved implantation and pregnancy rates after FET.