Cytometric assessment of uterine receptivity via epithelial β3 integrin expression.


Sims IVF Clinic, Clonskeagh Road, Clonskeagh, Dublin, Ireland.. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Many techniques now exist to assess the receptivity status of the endometrium. Can a simple low-cost flow cytometric technique be used to rapidly assess uterine receptivity via a luteal phase endometrial biopsy?
METHODS : Epithelial β3 integrin (EB3) evaluation was undertaken in 300 women presenting with repeated implantation failure or recurrent pregnancy loss who subsequently underwent 710 assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles. Endometrial tissue was mechanically dissociated and evaluated using specific antibodies to capture integrin expression. Autologous and donor oocyte embryo transfers were evaluated. A 'High', 'Borderline' and 'Low' grading system was developed based on the pattern and percentage expression of EB3 relative to the total endometrial epithelium. Clinical outcomes of the resulting embryo transfers (n = 559) were analysed according to EB3 grading.
RESULTS : Based on 180 completed transfers, the clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) per embryo transferred in the donor egg cycles was 41.7%. EB3 results from women with a 'High' grading showed a superior CPR (54.0%) compared with 'Low' (22.2% CPR) or 'Borderline' (37.4%) cases (P = 0.024). Similarly, following 379 autologous oocyte transfers, the CPR was 36.1% overall, with major variations between the 'High' (43.8%), 'Low' (17.5%) and 'Borderline' (34.8%) groups (P = 0.0008). Implantation rates showed similar significant trends in the 'High' versus 'Low' groups of 40.4% versus 16% (P = 0.048) in donor oocyte transfers, and 30.8% versus 16.1% (P = 0.025) in autologous oocyte transfers.
CONCLUSIONS : The distribution patterns and percentage expression of EB3 assessed by a flow cytometry grading system shows a significant relationship to implantation rate and CPR success in ART cycles and may thus represent a useful additional tool for the assessment of uterine receptivity.


Assisted reproductive technology (ART),Endometrium,Implantation,Integrin,Receptivity,

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