Which is the best embryo to transfer? To improve the efficiency of IVF treatments it is essential to identify the right embryo, the one that will lead to a healthy child at home.
Unfortunately, even the transfer of a morphologically “perfect” and chromosomally assessed embryo, does not guarantee a pregnancy.
New methods for the identification of viable embryos are urgently required. It is clear that many other elements play a key role in embryo viability. One of this elements seems to be mitochondrial DNA, which has been one of the main issues in past ESHRE 2016.
Mitochondria are intracellular structures that can be seen as “source” or “processors” of energy. Although DNA is mostly packaged in chromosomes within the nucleus of the cells, mitochondria also have a small amount of their own DNA (“extranuclear” DNA).
Scientists are not sure why some embryos experience a sudden rise in mitochondrial DNA but according to many studies presented at last ESHRE congress, those morphologically and chromosomally “perfect” embryos with unusually high levels of mitochondrial DNA have no ability to produce a baby. One possibility is that defective embryos make more mitochondria to give them enough energy to survive, but ultimately fail to develop and stop growing.
Taking this into account, mitochondrial quantification seems to be a “new” good candidate to be used as a marker of embryo viability in those chromosomally normal embryos.