Objective: To evaluate whether assisted hatching improves clinical outcomes of embryo transfers to good prognosis patients, defined as patients < or =39 years with normal follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and E(2) levels, no more than one previous unsuccessful cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF)-embryo transfer, and good embryo quality.
Design: Prospective randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Private assisted reproductive technology (ART) center.
Patient(s): One hundred ninety-nine good prognosis patients undergoing IVF-embryo transfer.
Intervention(s): In vitro fertilization followed by embryo transfer on day 3 after oocyte retrieval with or without assisted hatching using a 1,480-nm wavelength infrared laser.
Main outcome measure(s): Clinical intrauterine pregnancy, spontaneous pregnancy loss, and live birth.
Result(s): Rates of clinical intrauterine pregnancy with fetal cardiac activity (53% vs. 54% per cycle), spontaneous pregnancy loss (13% vs. 16% per pregnancy), and live birth (47% vs. 46% per cycle) were very similar between treatment cycles with laser-assisted hatching and control cycles in which embryos were transferred without assisted hatching. There were no significant differences between treatment and control groups in any measured clinical outcome parameters.
Conclusion(s): Assisted hatching does not improve clinical outcomes among good prognosis patients.