A new preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) test can mitigate the difficulty of embryo selection by allowing a close look at chromosomes and helping identification of genetically normal IVF embryos before they are transferred. This powerful new technology is called array comparative genomic hybridization or aCGH. Through aCGH, each and every chromosome in the embryo is tested; in this respect, aCGH differs from previous PGD tests that focused on only a few chromosomes. Embryologists can now combine information gained by routine microscopic examination with the results of aCGH before they select embryos for transfer or freezing. Normal embryos have a higher chance of implantation and the resulting pregnancies have a lower chance of miscarriage. Testing embryos by aCGH may increase the likelihood of pregnancy, reduce the chances of a pregnancy loss, and improve the odds of delivery.
The first step in the procedure is an embryo biopsy. This refers to microsurgical removal of one cell from a 3-day old or a few cells from a 5-day old embryo. The biopsied cells are then placed in special containers and sent by courier to a Reprogenetics laboratory where each sample is analyzed independently by aCGH. Array CGH is unique in that it allows simultaneous screening of multiple locations along the entire length of every chromosome. The test can also detect rare chromosome abnormalities present in the sample, while other techniques may not. Array CGH does not require additional blood tests prior to the IVF cycle, thus there are no set up or cancelation fees. Results are provided to the referring IVF center approximately 24–36 hours after the samples are received. The outcome of the aCGH PGD cycle is dependent on your age and the number of analyzable and normal embryos. If you would like more information on how aCGH can help you, please contact our genetic counseling team at 973-436-5003.