Instituto Bernabeu presents research work on the impact of mitochondrial DNA when predicting an embryo's ability to implant at the 18th Congress of the Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society

  • 16-04-2019

The Genetics Department at Instituto Bernabeu was present at the 18th International Conference on pre-implantation genetics organised by the Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society (PGDIS) and held in Geneva (Switzerland) between 15th and 18th April. Leading experts in reproductive biology, genetics and embryology met at the event which addressed development of pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) technology.

Belén Lledó, Head of the Genetics Laboratory at Instituto Bernabeu IBBiotech and research project leader, was responsible for presenting the conclusions of the research entitled ‘Embryos from the same cohort show high variability in the mtDNA levels’.

Dr Lledó explained that the results show that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in euploidy embryos (chromosomally normal embryos) from a single patient in a single cycle could be used as markers for selecting the embryo with the greatest ability to implant. In order to reach this conclusion in their research, biologists, molecular biologists, embryologists and gynaecologists at Instituto Bernabeu analysed 249 blastocyst biopsies in 89 couples who attended the clinic to take a pre-implantation genetic test called an oocyte PGT-A which analyses chromosomal abnormalities (aneuploidies). The conclusion was reached after studying and analysing the different variables and results.

The research, which was presented to the PGDIS congress, is a continuation of previous research work performed by IBBiotech and published in Human Reproduction, a prestigious scientific journal. The aforementioned research addressed the impact of mtDNA on results obtained in assisted reproduction treatment. The research concluded that embryos with the highest mtDNA levels had a decreased chance of leading to pregnancy. It also revealed that women over 40 years of age had higher mtDNA levels than younger women.


18th International Conference on Preimplantation Genetics