When evaluating the effect of time-lapse on clinical outcome, the technology should be considered as a full system combining the benefits of undisturbed embryo culture with the benefits of continually monitored embryo development and using the time-lapse information to make decisions about prioritising embryos for transfer and cryopreservation.
In a recent meta-analysis, eligible randomised controlled trials, which compare culture and evaluation using time-lapse systems with traditional embryo incubation and evaluation, were analysed to assess the effect of time-lapse.1
The thorough analysis of available literature supports the use of time-lapse in a clinical setting:
• Application of time-lapse significantly improves ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates compared with traditional culture and evaluation.
• Application of time-lapse significantly reduces early pregnancy loss rates.
Ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates were significantly improved with time-lapse vs traditional culture and evaluation (relative improvement: 28% and 41%, respectively).
Recently, the meta-analysis has been updated to include subsequently published randomised controlled studies in which time-lapse was used as a full system and live birth data was reported. This new meta-analysis strengthen the evidence of increased live births with the use of time-lapse systems on an intention to treat basis (n=1945, OR: 1.56, CI: 1.30-1.88, p<0.001)2
Importantly, the early pregnancy loss rate was significantly reduced with the application of time-lapse technology (relative reduction: 28%).
A thorough analysis of available eligible RCTs supports the use of time-lapse in clinical IVF by adding to the growing evidence of its clinical benefits. This conclusion is further strengthened by the inclusion of published live birth data that has become available since the original analysis was published. Altogether a higher Ongoing Pregnancy Rate and a reduction of Early Pregnancy Loss should result in a shorter time to pregnancy.
Which time-lapse system is right for you?
Vitrolife offers a variety of time-lapse systems with accompanying annotation and evaluting tools. But which one is right for you and your clinic? We have put together a guide that will help you choose which time-lapse system to implement in your IVF laboratory.
1 Pribenszky et al: Reprod Biomed Online (2017) 35(5): 511-520
2 Pribenszky et al: Reprod Biomed Online (2018) 36(3): 290-292