A multicentric study was carried out to analyse in a large series: (i) the chromosomal status of unfertilized oocytes, (ii) errors at fertilization and (iii) the chromosomal complement of cleaved embryos. Parameters such as type of sterility, maternal age, stimulation treatment, doses of gonadotrophins administered and oocyte preincubation time before insemination were studied in relation to the incidence of chromosome abnormalities. Twenty-six per cent of the unfertilized oocytes and 29.2% of the embryos had chromosome anomalies. Maternal age significantly increased the rate of aneuploidy in oocytes: 38% in patients over 35 years (versus 24% in younger patients). Fertilization-related abnormalities were significant, i.e. 1.6% parthenogenesis and 6.4% polyploidy. Unexplained infertility was correlated with an increase in the rate of parthenogenesis (4.2%) when compared with tubal infertility (1.2%). Triploidy was found to be correlated with three parameters. A lower rate of triploidy was observed in the group of couples referred because of male sterility (1.9% versus 6.3% for tuba1 sterility), in HMG-treated patients (2.4% versus 7% with analogues of LHRH/HMG) and with a short 2-h preincubation time before insemination (3% versus 7.2% for > 2 h). A general model for natural selection against embryos carrying a chromosome imbalance was proposed. © 1988 IRL Press Ltd.
- Human embryos
- Human oocytes