(HealthDay News) – Women who undergo in vitro fertilization by transfer of a single embryo that has undergone screening for genetic abnormalities have significantly better obstetric and neonatal outcomes than women who receive two embryos, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, held from May 4–8 in New Orleans.

Eric J. Forman, MD, from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey in Basking Ridge, and colleagues randomly assigned 175 women (≤43 years old) to undergo in vitro fertilization with a double-embryo transfer (DET) or single-embryo transfer (SET) with comprehensive chromosome screening.

The researchers found that the ongoing pregnancy rates were similar, at 62% for SET and 65% for DET. There were no twins after SET but 53% multiples after DET, and women undergoing SET had significantly longer mean gestations (38.7 vs. 37 weeks). Newborns after SET had significantly higher birth weight (3,422 vs. 2,593 grams), had a significantly lower rate of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission (8% vs. 35%), and spent significantly less total time in the NICU (13 vs. 280 days).

“SET with comprehensive chromosome screening has the potential to be paradigm-shifting and revolutionary in the world of in vitro fertilization,” Forman said in a statement. “Patients can do SET and maintain excellent delivery rates while not taking on the treatment-related risk of multiples. And for Ob-Gyns, this will mean fewer high-risk pregnancies handed off to them. It can reduce the health care burden across the spectrum.”

The study was funded in part by Ferring Pharmaceuticals. One author is on the advisory board of EMD Serono and Ferring.

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