Large-volume vitrification of human biopsied and non-biopsied blastocysts: a simple, robust technique for cryopreservation

Reed, Michael; Said, Al-Hasen; Thompson, Douglas; Caperton, Charles
February 2015
Journal of Assisted Reproduction & Genetics;Feb2015, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p207
Academic Journal
Purpose: To evaluate the transition from a proven slow-cooling cryopreservation method to a commercial large-volume vitrification system for human blastocysts. Methods: Retrospective analysis of de-identified laboratory and clinical data from January 2012 to present date for all frozen embryo replacement (FET) cycles was undertaken. Cryopreservation of trophectoderm-biopsied or non-biopsied blastocysts utilized during this time period was logged as either slow-cooling, small-volume vitrification, or large-volume vitrification. Blastocyst survival post-warm or post-thaw, clinical pregnancy following FET, and implantation rates were identified for each respective cryopreservation method. Results: Embryo survival was highest for large-volume vitrification compared to micro-volume vitrification and slow-cooling; 187/193 (96.9 %), 27/32 (84.4 %), and 244/272 (89.7 %), respectively. Survival of biopsied and non-biopsied blastocysts vitrified using the large-volume system was 105/109 (96.3 %) and 82/84 (97.6 %), respectively. Survival for micro-volume biopsied and non-biopsied blastocysts was 16/30 (83.3 %) and 2/2 (100.0 %) respectively. Slow-cooling post-thaw embryo survival was 272/244 (89.7 %). Clinical pregnancy and implantation rates outcomes for non-biopsied embryos were similar between large-volume and slow-cooling cryopreservation methods, 18/39 (46.2 %) clinical pregnancy and 24/82 (29.3 %) implantation/embryo, and 52/116 (44.8 %) clinical pregnancy and 67/244 (27.5 %) implantation/embryo, respectively. Comparing outcomes for biopsied embryos, clinical pregnancy and implantation rates were 39/67 (58.2 %) clinical pregnancy and 50/105 (47.6 %) implantation/embryo and 4/16 (25 %) clinical pregnancy and 6/25 (24.0 %) implantation/embryo, respectively. Conclusions: The LifeGlobal large-volume vitrification system proved to be very reliable, simple to learn and implement in the laboratory. Clinically large-volume vitrification was as, or more effective compared to slow-cooling cryopreservation in terms of recovery of viable embryos in this laboratory.


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