This study aimed to evaluate the ability of next-generation sequencing (NGS) to conduct preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) for thalassemia using affected embryos.
This study included data from 36 couples who underwent PGT for thalassemia without probands and relative pedigrees. NGS results were compared with prenatal diagnosis results.
Thirty-six couples (29 α-thalassemia and 7 β-thalassemia) underwent 41 PGT cycles (31 α-thalassemia and 10 β-thalassemia). Analysis using NGS produced conclusive results for all biopsied blastocysts (100%, 217/217). One hundred and sixty (73.7%, 160/217) were unaffected by thalassemia. Preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy revealed that 112 (70.0%, 112/160) were euploid. Single blastocysts were transferred into the uteri of 34 women (53 frozen embryo transfer [FET] cycles). Thirty-two cycles resulted in clinical pregnancies, with a clinical pregnancy rate of 60.1% (32/53) per FET cycle. Twenty-two cycles (22 couples) resulted in 23 live births, with a live birth rate of 43.4% (23/53; 3 cycles were ongoing pregnancies). All 25 embryos’ prenatal diagnosis results and/or thalassemia gene analyses after delivery were concordant with the NGS-PGT results. Seven embryos (21.9%, 7/32) were miscarried before 12 weeks’ gestation, and the abortion villus in four showed a normal karyotype and thalassemia results consistent with the NGS-PGT results. Aborted fetus samples from 3 cycles were not available because the pregnancy lasted less than 5 weeks.
NGS can be used to conduct PGT for thalassemia using affected embryos as a reference.
Retrospectively registered.

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