Reassessing the feasibility of the zygote score for predicting embryo viability in IVF/ICSI using the GnRH antagonist protocol compared to the long protocol

Pin Yao Lin, Fu Jen Huang, Fu Tsai Kung, Yi Chi Lin, Hsin Ju Chiang, Yu Ju Lin, Kuo Chung Lan

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background Many factors from the oocyte/sperm or the process of fertilization may affect the zygote formation. The zygote score (Z-score) describes the quality of a human zygote based on its pronuclear morphology, nucleolar precursor bodies, and alignment of polar bodies, and it can be used in the selection process at the zygote stage for embryo transfer or cryopreservation. Objective The aim of this retrospective cohort study was to investigate the relationship between different controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) protocols and the zygote score (Z-score) and to assess the feasibility of the Z-score for predicting embryo survival in the GnRH-Antagonist (GnRH-Ant) protocol. Methods It is a retrospective, single-center cohort study. A total of 3,826 zygotes with normal fertilization were analyzed from 744 in vitro fertilization /intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI) cycles (long protocol n = 392; GnRH-Ant n = 352) between Jan 2010 and April 2014 in the IVF unit of Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital Kaohsiung Medical Center. Results The Z-score distribution differed significantly between these two protocols. The overall Zscore was poorer for zygotes from GnRH-Ant cycles (p<0.05). Univariate and multivariate analyses indicated the type of COS protocol is one of the main determinants of Z-score grading. Our study found good-quality day 3 embryo/blastocyst formation and the cumulative embryo survival rate were correlated with the Z-score but not the COS protocol. With the GnRH-Ant protocol, the number of Z1 in the transferred cohort embryos was significantly correlated with the clinical pregnancy rate (r = 0.976; p = 0.024) and live birth rate (r = 0.971; p = 0.029). This correlation was not seen with the long protocol. Conclusions The Z-score distribution for the GnRH antagonist cycles was poorer than that of the long protocol, but the Z-score system is a valuable parameter for predicting embryo viability in the GnRH-Ant protocol, providing a strong correlation with the clinical pregnancy rate and live birth rate.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0171465
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
StatePublished - 02 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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