Patients undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) failures show an increased incidence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) in their blood. The physiological manifestations of aPL in this patient group are nonetheless controversial. Pathological effects of aPL on embryos in vitro have been documented. We questioned whether aPL if found in follicular fluids (FFs) could result in embryonic damage.
Method of study
Blood from 44 patients with three or more IVF-ET failures were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) for the presence of immunoglobulin (Ig)G, IgM and IgA aPL. Both the 29 aPL-positive and 15 aPL-negative patients gave permission for FF collection during their next IVF-ET attempt for additional aPL determinations.
Patients with no aPL in their blood, had no aPL in their FFs. Patients with IgG and/or IgM aPL in their blood had IgG but not IgM in their respective FFs.
The presence of IgG aPL in FFs and increased infertility length were significantly related to lower fertilization rates, independently. Follicular fluid IgG aPL appears as a risk factor in association with successful IVF-ET outcomes.