• abortion;
  • embryos;
  • live;
  • miscarriage;
  • ultrasound



An accurate method to predict subsequent miscarriage in live embryos has not yet been established. This pilot study aimed to determine the most discriminatory ultrasound-based model for predicting spontaneous miscarriage after embryonic life was first detected in assisted conceptions. A method for estimating individual risk of miscarriage was developed.


This was a prospective cross-sectional survey of 322 live singleton embryos in women from an assisted reproductive technology program. Mean sac diameter (MSD), crown–rump length (CRL), embryonic heart rate (EHR), maternal age and gestational age at the first transvaginal scan detecting embryonic life (between 42 and 62 days) were observed. These variables were included in a multivariate model for predicting spontaneous miscarriage occurring prior to 20 weeks. MSD, CRL and MSD minus CRL were assessed in univariate logistic regression analyses. The global diagnostic accuracy of each model was compared directly using receiver–operating characteristics (ROC) curves.


The multivariate model demonstrated the best ROC curve for predicting miscarriage (ROC area 0.87; 95% CI, 0.80–0.95). The separate univariate analyses had less diagnostic accuracy. In particular, MSD − CRL had a significantly smaller ROC area (0.65) than did the multivariate model (P < 0.01).


The most discriminatory test for predicting spontaneous miscarriage in live embryos was a multivariate model, which allows estimation of individual risk levels. Copyright © 2003 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.