Document Detail

A triplet pregnancy after in vitro fertilization is a procedure-related complication that should be prevented by replacement of two embryos only.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9022605     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the incidence and obstetric outcome of triplet pregnancies after IVF treatment justify strict limitation of the number of embryos to be replaced to two. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis. SETTING: A transport IVF program. PATIENT(S): All patients who had more than one embryo replaced. INTERVENTION(S): None. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Obstetric outcome, pregnancy. RESULT(S): High-order pregnancies occurred in 24 cases (23 triplets and 1 quadruplet). Three patients opted for selective embryo reduction (12.5%). Three triplet pregnancies spontaneously reduced to twins. Comparison of 18 triplets, reaching at least 20 weeks' gestation, with 54 twin pregnancies shows a higher perinatal mortality in the triplet group, causing 6 out of 18 patients to be confronted with at least one perinatal death. Triplets were born at a lower gestational age, had a lower birth weight, and a higher hospital admission rate of longer duration. Replacement of two, three, or four embryos did not lead to differences in pregnancy rates in the population studied. When a pregnancy occurred after replacement of three embryos, the risk of having a triplet pregnancy was 7.5%. CONCLUSION(S): The obstetric outcome of triplet pregnancies in our population indicates that triplet pregnancies after IVF treatment have to be prevented. Selective embryo reduction is acceptable for few patients only and can therefore not be seen as a solution. Replacement of three embryos results in triplet pregnancy in an unacceptably high percentage. Replacement of two embryos only gives acceptable IVF results and is the method chosen in the IVF program in Rotterdam to prevent triplet pregnancies.
J Roest; A M van Heusden; A Verhoeff; H V Mous; G H Zeilmaker
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Fertility and sterility     Volume:  67     ISSN:  0015-0282     ISO Abbreviation:  Fertil. Steril.     Publication Date:  1997 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-03-14     Completed Date:  1997-03-14     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372772     Medline TA:  Fertil Steril     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  290-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Zuiderziekenhuis, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Birth Weight
Embryo Transfer / methods*
Fertilization in Vitro*
Infant Mortality
Infant, Newborn
Length of Stay
Pregnancy Outcome
Pregnancy Rate
Pregnancy Reduction, Multifetal
Pregnancy, Multiple*
Comment In:
Fertil Steril. 1997 Oct;68(4):746-8   [PMID:  9341627 ]

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