Comprehensive meta-analysis reveals association between multiple imprinting disorders and conception by assisted reproductive technology

J Assist Reprod Genet. 2018 Jun;35(6):943-952. doi: 10.1007/s10815-018-1173-x. Epub 2018 Apr 25.


Purpose: To determine whether a history of conception by assisted reproductive technology (ART) is associated with occurrence of one or more imprinting disorders of either maternal or paternal origin.

Methods: We implemented a systematic review of scholarly literature followed by comprehensive meta-analysis to quantitatively synthesize data from reports relating to use of ART to occurrence of any imprinting disorder of humans, including Beckwith-Wiedemann (BWS), Angelman (AS), Prader-Willi (PWS), and Silver-Russell (SRS) syndromes, as well as transient neonatal diabetes mellitus (TNDB) and sporadic retinoblasoma (RB).

Results: The systematic review identified 13 reports presenting unique data from 23 studies that related conception following ART to occurrence of imprinting disorders. Multiple studies of four disorder were identified, for which meta-analysis yielded the following summary estimates of associations with a history of ART: AS, summary odds ratio (sOR) = 4.7 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.6-8.5, 4 studies); BWS, sOR = 5.8 (95% CI 3.1-11.1, 8 studies); PWS, sOR = 2.2 (95% CI 1.6-3.0, 6 studies); SRS, sOR = 11.3 (95% CI 4.5-28.5, 3 studies). Only one study reported on each of TNDB and RB.

Conclusion: Published data reveal positive associations between history of ART conception and each of four imprinting disorders. Reasons for these associations warrant further investigation.

Keywords: Angelman syndrome; Assisted reproduction; Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome; Imprinting disorder; Prader-Willi syndrome; Silver-Russell syndrome.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Disorders / etiology*
  • Female
  • Fertilization*
  • Genomic Imprinting*
  • Humans
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors