Autologous endometrial cell co-culture improves human embryo development to high-quality blastocysts: a randomized controlled trial
Does autologous endometrial cell co-culture (AECC) improve the number of good-quality blastocysts obtained by IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), compared with conventional embryo culture medium in a broad group of patients referred to assisted reproductive technology (ART)?
This interventional, randomized, double-blind study took place at Clinique Ovo from March 2013 to October 2015 and included 207 healthy patients undergoing an IVF or ICSI protocol, of which 71 were excluded before randomization. On the previous cycle, all participants underwent an endometrial biopsy at D5 to D7 post-ovulation, following which the endometrial cells were prepared for AECC.
The data demonstrated that AECC significantly increased the incidence of good-quality blastocysts compared with culture in conventional media (42.6% vs 28.4%, P< 0.001). No significant differences were found in pregnancy and live birth rates.
This study demonstrated the benefits of AECC on blastocyst quality compared with conventional embryo culture medium, in a broader category of patients referred to ART as opposed to other studies that concentrated on specific causes of infertility only. However, limitations of the study design should be taken into consideration; the analysis was performed using embryos rather than patients and a follow-up of children born following the treatments could not be conducted.