Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers discover that the size of a woman’s uterus can predict whether she is at risk of having twins after IVF

09.07.2008
Using ultrasound to measure the height of a woman’s uterus is a good way to predict whether or not she is at risk of having babies born prematurely if she becomes pregnant with twins after IVF, according to new research presented at the 24th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona today (Wednesday).

Dr Raphaël Hirt, a Fellow in the Division of Reproductive Medicine at the Hôpital Antoine Béclère, Clamart, Paris (France) headed by Professor Renato Fanchin, told the conference that the finding would help medical professionals and women make objective decisions about how many embryos should be transferred in one IVF attempt.

“Twin pregnancies account for between a quarter and a third of pregnancies obtained during IVF, and eight per cent of them are complicated by the babies being born extremely premature, leading to medical complications and sometimes foetal mortality,” he said. “For this reason, single embryo transfer is promoted as the best way of avoiding twin pregnancies, but, in some cases, this can alter the overall likelihood of pregnancy. An evaluation of a woman’s individual risk of perinatal adverse outcomes from a twin pregnancy may help to select those women who have a lower risk of having twins born severely prematurely and who could consider a double embryo transfer if that is what they want.”

Dr Hirt and Prof Fanchin knew that women who already had children were less likely to give birth prematurely, probably because the uterine cavity had been distended by previous pregnancies. They decided to see whether the height of the uterus, as measured by transvaginal ultrasound (a process called hysterosonometry or HSM) could predict the outcome of twin pregnancies after IVF.

They used HSM to measure the distance between the top of the uterus (the fundus) and the external opening of the cervix (cervical os) in 79 women, aged 21-39, who were attending their clinics for fertility treatment. After successful IVF treatment they followed the women to record gestational age at delivery, prevalence of severe prematurity (defined as delivery before 32 weeks) and foetal mortality.

They divided the women up into three groups based on the 30th and 70th centile of the HSM results: group 1 (24 women with a uterus height less that 63mm), group 2 (33 women with an average size uterus of between 64-70mm) and group 3 (22 women with a uterus height greater than 70mm).

They found that women with the smallest uteri (group 1) were significantly more likely to have babies born severely premature, with an increased number of foetal deaths, compared to the other two groups. The average gestational age of babies in the group 1 women was 33.7 weeks (with a range of 23-38.5 weeks) compared to an average age of 37.5 weeks for the other two groups. There were seven foetal deaths in the first group compared with one in the second group and none in the third group, and six of the deaths in the first group were linked to prematurity, while the one death in the second group was not.

After adjusting for any confounding factors such as age, parity, previous premature delivery, the researchers found a clear association with HSM.

Dr Hirt said: “This is the first time that uterine length has been used to predict which women are more likely to have twins born prematurely. Our results show that HSM is a reliable and non-invasive method for predicting twin-related severe prematurity and neonatal mortality, and it can be used before conception to help with objective decision-making about the number of embryos to transfer. For women with an HSM measurement of less than 62mm, a single-embryo transfer is indicated, but in those with a longer uterine cavity, a double-embryo transfer can be considered if it is acceptable to the patients.

“Transvaginal ultrasound is a common, easy and inexpensive examination. Furthermore, it is already practiced in many fertility clinics and would not increase IVF costs. Although we suggest that further, larger studies should be conducted, we believe that even with the restricted number of patients in our study, the results are dramatically significant and HSM could be included in the criteria that clinics currently use when advising about the number of embryos to transfer.”

Dr Hirt and Prof Fanchin’s team will be using HSM as new criteria and will be studying whether this results in a significant decrease in foetal mortality. They are also planning to study the impact of a short uterine cavity on singleton pregnancies, to see whether it could help to identify those women who will need intensive neonatal care.

Sarah De Potter | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eshre.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Discovery shows promise for treating Huntington's Disease
05.08.2020 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht Carbon monoxide improves endurance performance
05.08.2020 | Universität Bayreuth

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: ScanCut project completed: laser cutting enables more intricate plug connector designs

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.

Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...

Im Focus: New Strategy Against Osteoporosis

An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...

Im Focus: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rare Earth Elements in Norwegian Fjords?

06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences

Anode material for safe batteries with a long cycle life

06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

06.08.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>