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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Large for gestational age and macrosomia in singletons born after frozen/thawed embryo transfer (FET) in assisted reproductive technology (ART)

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Increase in success rates with frozen embryo transfer (FET) and reduced risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and multiple pregnancies has lead to a steady rise in FET. Further, FET is associated with lower risk of prematurity and low birth weight in singletons, when compared with fresh transfer. However, there is a growing concern of increased risk of large for gestational (LGA) and/or macrosomic children after FET. Macrosomic/LGA births have a higher risk of cesarean section, fetal hypoxia and stillbirth. Improvements in cryopreservation techniques indicate that FET is a trend expected to continue and a freeze-all policy has lately been introduced. With this review, we wished to evaluate the association between FET and LGA and/or macrosomia. We searched electronic databases on January 12, 2018. Ten studies on LGA and six studies on macrosomia were eligible for meta-analysis. We found that the risk of LGA in FET was increased 1.5-fold (AOR = 1.50 95% CI 1.44-1.57 p < 0.001) compared to fresh cycles and 1.3-fold (AOR = 1.31 95% CI 1.20-1.43 p < 0.001) compared to natural conception (NC). Similarly we found a 1.7-fold increased risk of macrosomia in FET compared to fresh transfer (AOR = 1.71 95% CI 1.59-1.83 p < 0.001) and a 1.4-fold increased risk compared to NC (AOR = 1.42 95% CI 1.17-1.71 p < 0.001). Whether the increased risk of LGA and macrosomia is associated with higher long-term health risks remains unknown. Future studies should explore epigenetics modifications in children born after FET and predictors of long-term diseases need to be examined further with longitudinal studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBirth Defects Research Part A - Clinical and Molecular Teratology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)630-643
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

ID: 54182460