Increased plasma cell-free DNA is associated with low pregnancy rates among women undergoing IVF-embryo transfer Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • This prospective repeated measures study was designed to examine the cell-free DNA (cfDNA) concentrations during ovarian stimulation and the relationship between cfDNA concentration and pregnancy rates in women undergoing IVF–embryo transfer. The study examined 37 women undergoing IVF treatment in an IVF unit in a university medical centre in southern Israel. cfDNA concentrations were measured by a direct fluorescence assay, pregnancy rates were identified by plasma β human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) concentrations and verified by vaginal ultrasound to determine gestational sac and fetal heart beats. Throughout the IVF cycle, at the three time points measured, the mean concentration of plasma cfDNA among all participants did not statistically significantly change. However, on the day of βHCG test in patients undergoing IVF–embryo transfer, plasma cfDNA concentrations were statistically significantly higher among women who did not conceive in comparison to those who conceived. Plasma cfDNA may reflect the presence of factors which interfere with embryo implantation. Further research is required to determine the usefulness of cfDNA as a biomarker of IVF outcome and to examine the underlying pathologies as potential sources for increased plasma cfDNA concentrations. Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is particles of DNA which are released from the cell nucleus and are found in high concentrations during a variety of illnesses and injuries. This study was designed to examine the cfDNA concentrations during IVF treatment and the relationship between cfDNA concentration in the bloodstream and pregnancy rates in women undergoing IVF. This study examined 37 women in treatment at the IVF unit of the University Medical Centre in southern Israel. cfDNA concentrations in the bloodstream were measured at three time points by a direct test. Pregnancy rates were identified by pregnancy hormone concentrations in the bloodstream and verified by vaginal ultrasound to determine a pregnancy sac and fetal heart beats. Throughout the IVF cycle, at the three time points measured, the average concentration of cfDNA among all participants did not change. However, on the day of the pregnancy test, blood cfDNA concentrations were significantly higher among women who were not pregnant in comparison to those who were. Plasma cfDNA may reflect the presence of factors which interfere with embryo implantation. Further research is required to determine the usefulness of cfDNA as a biological marker of IVF outcome and examine underlying illnesses and problems as potentials sources for increased cfDNA concentrations.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013