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Keywords:

  • Autoimmunity;
  • embryo quality;
  • reproduction failure

PROBLEM: Recently, it has been suggested that anticardiolipin antibodies (ACAs) may serve as possible markers for reproductive failure. The association between ACAs and embryo morphology in patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) was investigated.

METHOD OF STUDY: This prospective study comprised 117 patients with either tubal factor or unexplained infertility. Embryo morphology was blindly scored from I to IV according to blastomere regularity and the presence of fragments. Anticardiolipin antibodies (immunoglobulin [Ig] G and IgM) were detected.

RESULTS: Anticardiolipin antibodies were found in 26 (50%) of the 52 patients with abnormal morphology, compared with 13 (20%) of the 65 patients with normal embryo morphology (P = 0.001). No statistically significant differences were found between the prevalence of ACAs among patients with tubal factor and those with unexplained infertility (29.6% and 36.5%, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows an association between embryo morphology and the presence of ACAs. This association may explain the low implantation rate and early pregnancy loss in patients with ACAs.