Infoscience

Journal article

Quantitative Morphometrical Characterization of Human Pronuclear Zygotes

BACKGROUND: Identification of embryos with high implantation potential remains a challenge in in vitro fertilization (IVF). Subjective pronuclear (PN) zygote scoring systems have been developed for that purpose. The aim of this work was to provide a software tool that enables objective measuring of morphological characteristics of the human PN zygote. METHODS: A computer program was created to analyse zygote images semi-automatically, providing precise morphological measurements. The accuracy of this approach was first validated by comparing zygotes from two different IVF centres with computer-assisted measurements or subjective scoring. Computer-assisted measurement and subjective scoring were then compared for their ability to classify zygotes with high and low implantation probability by using a linear discriminant analysis. RESULTS: Zygote images coming from the two IVF centres were analysed with the software, resulting in a series of precise measurements of 24 variables. Using subjective scoring, the cytoplasmic halo was the only feature which was significantly different between the two IVF centres. Computer-assisted measurements revealed significant differences between centres in PN centring, PN proximity, cytoplasmic halo and features related to nucleolar precursor bodies distribution. The zygote classification error achieved with the computer-assisted measurements (0.363) was slightly inferior to that of the subjective ones (0.393). CONCLUSIONS: A precise and objective characterization of the morphology of human PN zygotes can be achieved by the use of an advanced image analysis tool. This computer-assisted analysis allows for a better morphological characterization of human zygotes and can be used for classification.

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