Non-invasive PGT-A, or non-invasive preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy, is an innovative technique that offers several advantages in IVF programs. While it is a relatively new approach with some limitations, when used properly for a specific group of patients, it can provide significant benefits. In this article, we will explore the concept of non-invasive PGT-A, compare it to traditional PGT-A from embryo biopsy, discuss its indications and what can be diagnosed using this technique, examine its impact on success rates, provide a real patient example, address the potential risks involved, explain the costs associated with non-invasive PGT-A, and answer frequently asked questions.
The detection of free DNA in the blastocyst culture medium was published a few years ago and was proposed as a tool for non-invasively determining the embryo’s chromosome load. This DNA is released by the embryo into the culture medium during its development in vitro. In recent years, several studies have demonstrated the ability to detect, extract, and amplify DNA from embryo culture medium, especially at the blastocyst stage, and have evaluated its potential clinical application for non-invasive PGT.Elisa Moya Gutiérrez Embryologist at UR Vistahermosa Alicante.
What is a non-invasive PGT-A (preimplantation genetic testing)
Non-invasive PGT-A refers to a method of genetic testing that does not require an invasive biopsy of the embryo. Instead, it analyzes the genetic material released by the developing embryo into the surrounding culture media. This technique is also known by various other names, such as “trophectoderm DNA testing” or “culture medium analysis.”
Compared to PGT-A from embryo biopsy, non-invasive PGT-A offers several advantages. It eliminates the need for a biopsy procedure, which can be stressful for both the embryo and the patient. It allows for continuous monitoring of embryo development without disruption, potentially improving embryo selection. Additionally, it provides a non-destructive option for genetic testing, enabling the use of embryos that may have otherwise been discarded.
Non-invasive PGT-A indications
The indications for non-invasive PGT-A are similar to those for traditional PGT-A. It is typically recommended for patients undergoing IVF who are at an increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities or have a history of failed implantation, recurrent miscarriage, or advanced maternal age. By identifying chromosomally normal embryos, non-invasive PGT-A can enhance the chances of a successful pregnancy.
What can be diagnosed via non-invasive PGT-A?
Non-invasive PGT-A like it is offered at UR Vistahermosa can diagnose various chromosomal abnormalities, including aneuploidies (abnormal numbers of chromosomes), which are the most common cause of failed implantation and miscarriage. By identifying embryos with the correct number of chromosomes, this technique helps select the most viable embryos for transfer, improving the chances of a successful pregnancy.
Non-invasive PGT-A vs. IVF success rates
When it comes to success rates, non-invasive PGT-A has shown promising results in improving the outcomes of IVF. By selecting embryos with a normal chromosomal profile, the chances of implantation and achieving a healthy pregnancy can be significantly enhanced. However, it is important to note that success rates can vary depending on individual patient factors and the specific IVF clinic’s expertise.
Non-invasive PGT-A IVF – patient example
To provide a real patient example, let’s consider a couple in their late 30s who have been struggling with multiple failed IVF cycles and recurrent miscarriages. Non-invasive PGT-A was recommended for them, and through the use of this technique, their embryos were screened for chromosomal abnormalities. This allowed the identification and transfer of a chromosomally normal embryo, resulting in a successful pregnancy and the birth of a healthy baby.
What are the risks?
As with any medical procedure, it is essential to be aware of potential risks. Non-invasive PGT-A is generally considered safe, with no direct harm to the embryos. However, there is a small risk of misdiagnosis or mosaicism, where different cells within an embryo have different chromosomal profiles. It is crucial for patients to discuss these risks with their healthcare provider and understand the limitations of the technique.
Cost of non-invasive PGT-A
Understanding the costs associated with non-invasive PGT-A is essential for patients considering this option. The expenses typically include the genetic testing itself, laboratory fees, and any additional fees for consultations or monitoring. It is important to clarify with the IVF clinic what is included in the costs and if there are any additional expenses. It can also be helpful to compare costs between different countries or clinics such as UR Vistahermosa in Spain, the UK, and other destinations like the Czech Republic or Greece.
Non-invasive PGT-A – FAQ
What is non-invasive PGT-A?
Non-invasive preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) is a technique used in IVF programs to assess the chromosomal status of embryos without the need for an invasive biopsy. Instead of extracting cells from the embryo, non-invasive PGT-A analyzes the genetic material released by the developing embryo into the surrounding culture media. This technique allows for continuous monitoring of embryo development and helps identify chromosomally normal embryos for transfer.
How accurate is non-invasive PGT-A?
Non-invasive PGT-A has shown promising accuracy in detecting chromosomal abnormalities in embryos. Studies have demonstrated high concordance rates between non-invasive PGT-A and traditional biopsy-based PGT-A methods. However, it’s important to note that no diagnostic test is 100% accurate, and there is a small possibility of false-positive or false-negative results. It is recommended to discuss the accuracy of non-invasive PGT-A with your healthcare provider to better understand its specific performance.
How successful is IVF with PGT-A?
IVF with PGT-A has the potential to improve the success rates of the procedure. By selecting chromosomally normal embryos for transfer, IVF outcomes can be enhanced, resulting in increased implantation rates and a higher chance of achieving a healthy pregnancy. The success rates can vary depending on individual patient factors, such as age, underlying fertility issues, and the quality of embryos available for transfer. It is advisable to consult with your fertility specialist to discuss how PGT-A may impact the success of your specific IVF treatment.
Do I need PGT-A for IVF?
The need for PGT-A in IVF depends on individual circumstances and factors. PGT-A is typically recommended for patients who are at an increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities or have experienced previous failed implantation, recurrent miscarriages, or advanced maternal age. PGT-A can help identify chromosomally normal embryos, thereby improving the chances of successful implantation and a healthy pregnancy. However, the decision to pursue PGT-A should be made in consultation with your fertility specialist, considering your specific medical history and fertility goals. The specialists at UR Vistahermosa Alicante can provide personalized guidance on whether PGT-A is beneficial for your IVF journey.
Non invasive PGT-A – Final thoughts
Non-invasive PGT-A is a promising technique in the field of IVF that offers advantages over traditional embryo biopsy-based PGT-A. It can provide valuable information about the chromosomal profile of embryos without the need for an invasive biopsy, potentially improving success rates and pregnancy outcomes. However, it is essential for patients to discuss their specific circumstances with their healthcare providers to determine if non-invasive PGT-A is suitable for them. Also its important to keep in mind that it’s an embryo selection method, but it´s not a diagnosis test.