Israeli fertility experts call for international chromosome registry

Lausanne, Switzerland: If a woman undergoing artificial reproductive techniques suffers repeated failures of embryos to implant in her uterus it may be because she has a chromosomal abnormality, according to new findings by Israeli fertility experts.

A team from the Assaf Harofeh Medical Centre in Tel Aviv carried out genetic screening on 65 couples who had experienced repeated embryo implantation failure and found that a quarter of the women and the husbands of two of them had abnormal chromosomes.

The study, led by Professor Raphael Ron-El, head of the centre's IVF unit, was too small to establish a causal link between chromosome abnormalities and repeated implantation failure, so the research team is calling for an international registry to be established for chromosomal aberrations in infertility patients.

Team member Dr Arieh Raziel told the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology meeting in Lausanne today (Wednesday 4 July) that they had gathered 16 cases of chromosomal changes in three years. "Even if an additional 15 IVF units joined the study, the numbers would still be too small to draw conclusions. So we need an international registry set up that will record infertility patients' chromosomal aberrations and their impact on pregnancy."

He said that women undergoing ART have a seven-fold higher prevalence of autosomal (non-sex chromosome) translocations than the general population, with over one in a hundred patients affected. The highest rate was found in women with recurrent miscarriages.

"If the causes for implantation failure after IVF are similar to the causes for recurrent miscarriages, but in an earlier phase, then chromosomal abnormalities could also be more frequent in implantation failure," he told the conference. The objective of the study was to find the type and frequency of chromosomal changes in implantation failure and evaluate their impact on the outcome of the pre

Contact: Margaret Willson
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology

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