There was little difference in the average number of embryos transferred and the implantation rates between the two groups, but the early miscarriage rate was significantly lower in the group that had had the first polar body (PB1) analysis (11.5% compared to 28.6%).
In women aged 34 or younger there was one miscarriage (6%) in the PB1 group compared to seven (21%) in the control group; in women aged between 35 and 37, the PB1 group had two miscarriages (12%) compared to five (50%); and in women aged 38 to 43, there were three miscarriages (18%) in the PB1 group compared to four (33%) in the control group.
Dr Ferraretti said: "These preliminary data show for the first time that early PB1 biopsy performed with the aim of having results before insemination does not affect fertilisation, embryo development and implantation potential. The PB1 pre-selection significantly decreased the risk of transferring normally cleaving aneuploid embryos with implantation potential, and therefore decreased the miscarriage rate in all age groups.
"At present, because of the limited number of chromosomes that can be analysed, the benefits of the technique are confined to reducing the risk of miscarriages. Therefore, it is indicated for use mainly in women who have a higher risk of aneuploidies because of age, previous miscarriages and repeated IVF failure.
"However, in the future, it could become an important tool for all women undergoing assisted
Contact: Emma Mason
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology