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11-04-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Sequential IVF culture media improves embryo growth, development


Free abstract

MedWire News: An embryo culture medium containing supplemental amino acids, nucleotides, vitamins, and cholesterol improves the performance of embryonic growth and development, as well as increasing pregnancy rates, researchers report.

ISM1 Medium is “designed to mimic the maternal micro ambient to reduce thermal, metabolic, osmotic, and oxidative shocks that might increase stress in in vitro culture conditions,” explain Susanna Xella and colleagues from the Policlinico di Modena in Italy.

The team compared ISM1 Medium with Universal IVF Medium which contains simple energy-providing components.

A group of 726 patients undergoing IVF-intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatment were included in the study, 323 in group 1 (Universal IVF Medium), and 403 in group 2 (ISM1 Medium).

Although the mean fertilization rate was similar in both groups of patients, the percentage of good-quality embryos was significantly higher in group 2 than group 1, at 79 versus 74 percent.

In addition, rates of implantation, clinical pregnancy, and ongoing pregnancy were statistically higher in group 2 than group 1, at 15.0 versus 10.0 percent, 31.0 versus 21.0 percent, and 27.5 versus 18.0 percent, respectively.

On the basis of their results, Xella and team conclude that the antioxidant elements of ISM1 Medium avoid “developmental failure” and achieve “the best quality for implantation.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy