Purpose of review: Time lapse technology represents a new tool in the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) laboratory. It can aid the embryologist in the detection of objective and quantifiable markers associated with embryo viability and implantation. The purpose of this review is to explain how embryo morphokinetics can be used as an adjunct to standard morphological assessment and to evaluate its potential value to improve IVF outcomes.
Recent findings: Several algorithms have been developed. Some utilize early kinetic markers, whereas others rely more on later stages of embryo development. Even though over a handful of randomized control trials are in progress, at this point, only one has been published demonstrating a significant increase in implantation rates and ongoing pregnancy rates when selecting embryos on the basis of a combination of morphological assessment and morphokinetics.
Summary: We believe that standard morphological assessment should remain the gold standard to initiate embryo evaluation; however, if possible, it can be complemented with the use of morphokinetics. This new approach will allow the embryologist to perform a more accurate and objective embryo selection and therefore reduce the number of embryos transferred while maintaining or even improving clinical results.