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Predictive value of serum HCG concentrations in pregnancies achieved after single fresh or vitrified-warmed blastocyst transfer

Reproductive BioMedicine Online, September 2017, Volume 35, Issue 3, Pages 272-278

Abstract

Possible differences between serum HCG levels in pregnancies achieved after transfer of a single fresh or a vitrified-warmed blastocyst were evaluated. Out of 1130 single blastocyst transfers resulting in positive HCG results, 789 were single fresh blastocyst transfers and 341 single vitrified-warmed blastocyst transfers. The initial serum HCG levels of 869 clinical intrauterine pregnancies were evaluated, 638 after the transfer of a single fresh blastocysts and 231 after the transfer of a single vitrified-warmed blastocysts. The HCG levels from cycles resulting in a clinical intrauterine pregnancy were significantly higher after the transfer of a single vitrified-warmed blastocyst (383 ± 230 IU/l) versus a fresh transfer (334 ± 192 IU/l; P = 0.01). Threshold values for predicting a clinical pregnancy for a fresh blastocyst were 111 IU/l and for a vitrified-warmed blastocyst 137 IU/l. Our study shows that the overall beta-HCG levels are comparable after the transfer of a fresh or vitrified-warmed blastocyst, suggesting that vitrification most probably does not affect the ability of the embryos to produce beta-HCG. This study further shows that when clinicians counsel patients, they should take into account that higher HCG levels are needed after a vitrified-warmed blastocyst transfer to predict a clinical intrauterine pregnancy.

Keywords: Clinical pregnancy, Fresh blastocyst, HCG, Single embryo transfer, Vitrified-warmed blastocyst.