Morphological differences in human zygotes and embryos cultured in different media

Zygote. 2012 Nov;20(4):399-405. doi: 10.1017/S0967199411000670. Epub 2011 Nov 30.


Purpose: To compare the effects of four culture media on the quality of human zygotes and embryos.

Methods: Prospective study analyzing 2289 human embryos cultivated simultaneously in two different culture media: HTF, the default medium, with either Universal IVF, Global or IVF-30 as the secondary media. The sibling oocytes by each patient were randomly divided between the two culture media following intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). On day 1 the pronuclear stage of zygotes were evaluated and on day 2 embryos were evaluated according to the number of cells, percentage of fragmentation and number of nuclei. Z-test and odds ratios were used in the statistical analysis.

Results: There was a higher percentage (55.2%) of class A1 + A2 zygotes with IVF-30 compared with HTF, Global or Universal IVF media (49.1%, 44.7% and 44.2%, respectively). The percentage of Top embryos was significantly higher with Global (40.2%) compared with HTF (21.3%), IVF-30 (25.0%) or Universal IVF media (11.2%).

Conclusions: Global medium produced more Top embryos evaluated on day 2 of development.

MeSH terms

  • Culture Media*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Humans
  • Oocytes / growth & development
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic
  • Zygote / cytology*
  • Zygote / metabolism


  • Culture Media