High prevalence of defective human embryos at the early postimplantation period

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Abstract

Thirty-seven cases of human embryos at the early postimplantation period were procured after induced abortion and examined histologically. Their developmental stages ranged from Carnegie stages 6 to 11, and their standard ages ranged from 14 to 24 days after fertilization. Five cases (13.5%) were grossly abnormal, and seven (18.9%) were degenerating partially or in toto. Gross abnormalities included distorted embryonic disc, disorganized neural groove or tube, and neural tube dysraphism. The high prevalence rate of defective embryos at the early postimplantation period supports the clinical finding that a substantial proportion of human conceptions are eliminated from an early stage of pregnancy, often without the knowledge of the mother. The fate of undifferentiated pathological embryos is uncertain and remains to be determined.

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