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Researchers Develop New Procedure to Screen All 46 Human Chromosomes to Identify Abnormalities in Embryos
Date:10/18/2007

ete and accurate picture of their genetic health than has ever been possible," said Dr. Treff. "This could, in turn, allow us to reduce the number of embryos implanted while increasing the chances that couples treated with IVF will have a healthy baby."

It has been known for more than a decade that the principal reason human embryos fail to implant relates to the embryo having too much or too little genetic material. One example is Down syndrome where the embryo contains an extra chromosome 21. While that error is commonly known, the addition or loss of other chromosomes also occurs frequently, but those embryos generally arrest prior to implantation or result in early miscarriage. Unfortunately, genetically normal and abnormal embryos typically appear the same during the first few days of development. This means that embryologists and physicians cannot observe a given group of embryos and distinguish which are normal and have an excellent chance of implanting and developing into a healthy child from those which are abnormal and do not possess significant reproductive potential. A specific genetic screening test of each embryo is required.

Currently, the most commonly used technology for chromosomal analysis of embryos (sometimes termed preimplantation genetic diagnosis or PGD), is florescent in situ hybridization (FISH). This technique assesses fewer than half of the 23 chromosome pairs found in the human karyotype and has a suboptimal error rate. This makes it possible for many genetic abnormalities to go undetected. Prior technologies that have attempted to analyze all 23 chromosome pairs have not been useful because of the length of time required to provide accurate results.

"This groundbreaking research paves the way for more successful IVF treatments," says Dr. Richard T. Scott, founding partner of RMA. "Human embryos must implant within the first few days in order to achieve a pregnancy. This new technology developed at RMA combines for the
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SOURCE Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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