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Keywords:

  • Antinuclear antibodies;
  • in vitro fertilization–embryo transfer;
  • impact;
  • outcome

Objective

To determine the presence of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) in follicular fluid (FF) and embryos as to their potential impact on IVF outcome.

Methods

A total of 100 women presenting to IVF/ICSI program were recruited in this study, wherein 50 women sero-positive for ANA served as study group (ANA+ group) and 50 women seronegative for ANA served as control group (ANA- group), and patients were age-matched in the two groups. ANA level in serum and FF were examined by ELISA, and immunofluorescence assay was employed to detect IgG within embryos.

Results

In ANA+ group, 36 women showed positive ANA both in serum and FF on the day of ovum pick-up (OPU), wherein 34 exhibited fluorescence of IgG in embryos. All the 50 women in control group showed negative results in serum and FF ANA on OPU day and in embryo immunofluorescence. Serum ANA level positively correlated with FF ANA level. IVF outcomes were significantly poorer in ANA+ group, mainly reflecting the less number of high-quality embryos, reduced rates of pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, and implantation.

Conclusion

These data demonstrated the existence of ANA in FF and embryos, which may exert detrimental impact on IVF outcome.