Cleavage-stage human embryo arrest, is it embryo genetic composition or others?

Raoul Orvieto, Anat Jonish-Grossman, Sharon Avhar Maydan, Meirav Noach-Hirsh, Olga Dratviman-Storobinsky, Adva Aizer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Embryo transfer is a crucial step in IVF cycle, with increasing trend during the last decade of transferring a single embryo, preferably at the blastocyst stage. Despite increasing evidence supporting Day 5 blastocyst-stage transfer, the optimal day of embryo transfer remains controversial. The crucial questions are therefore, whether the mechanisms responsible to embryos arrest are embryo aneuploidy or others, and whether those embryos arrested in-vitro between the cleavage to the blastocyst stage would survive in-vivo if transferred on the cleavage-stage. We therefore aim to explore whether aneuploidy can directly contribute to embryo development to the blastocyst stage. Thirty Day-5 embryos, that their Day-3 blastomere biopsy revealed a single-gene defect, were donated by 10 couples undergoing preimplantation genetic testing treatment at our center. Affected high quality Day-3 embryos were cultured to Day-5, and were classified to those that developed to the blastocyst-stage and those that were arrested. Each embryo underwent whole genome amplification. Eighteen (60%) embryos were arrested, did not develop to the blastocyst stage and 12 (40%) have developed to the blastocyst stage. Nineteen embryos (63.3%) were found to be euploid. Of them, 12 (66.6%) were arrested embryos and 7 (58.3%) were those that developed to the blastocyst-stage. These figures were not statistically different (p = 0.644). Our observation demonstrated that the mechanism responsible to embryos arrest in vitro is not embryo aneuploidy, but rather other, such as culture conditions. If further studies will confirm that Day-5 blastocyst transfer might cause losses of embryos that would have been survived in vivo, cleavage-stage embryo transfer would be the preferred timing. This might reduce the cycle cancellations due to failure of embryo to develop to the blastocyst stage and will provide the best cumulative live birth-rate per started cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number52
JournalReproductive Biology and Endocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Blastocyst stage
  • CGH
  • Cleavage-stage
  • Euploidy
  • Human embryos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Developmental Biology


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