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Human oocyte morphometry before and after cryopreservation: A prospective cohort study

Camargos, Maria G.R.S., Rodrigues, Jhenifer K., Lobach, Veronica N., El Cury-Silva, Taynná, Nunes, Monique E.G., Camargos, Aroldo F., Reis, Fernando M.
Cryobiology 2019 v.88 pp. 81-86
animal ovaries, cohort studies, cryopreservation, female fertility, humans, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, morphometry, oocytes, pregnancy, surgery, vitrification, women, zona pellucida
The cryopreservation of human oocytes is an important strategy to spare fertility in women submitted to gonadotoxic therapy, ovarian surgery, or even to allow gestation by assisted reproduction technology after natural ovarian senescence. Methods to predict oocyte resistance to cryopreservation are still based on qualitative morphological assessment. In this study we evaluated whether morphometric characteristics of mature oocytes before vitrification and after warming are related to successful fertilization by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This was a prospective cohort study including 28 infertile women and 71 oocytes. Morphometric assessments included oocyte diameter, perivitelline space (PS), zona pellucida (ZP) and first polar body (PB). Out of 49 warmed oocytes, 27 (55%) survived cryopreservation and their pre-vitrification measures were similar to those of the 22 oocytes that perished. However, the oocytes that eventually failed to be fertilized had undergone more enlargement of the total diameter (p = 0.029) and shrinking of the PS (p = 0.033) after cryopreservation, compared to oocytes that were successfully fertilized. These findings suggest that the morphometric characteristics of fresh oocytes do not predict their survival to vitrification, while fertilization failure is associated with oocyte enlargement and PS shrinking after cryopreservation.