Is there a correlation between paternal age and aneuploidy rate? An analysis of 3,118 embryos derived from young egg donors

Fertil Steril. 2020 Aug;114(2):293-300. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2020.03.034. Epub 2020 Jul 9.


Objective: To investigate a possible correlation between chromosomal aberrations and paternal age, analyzing embryos derived from young oocyte donors, with available preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy results from day 5/6 trophectoderm biopsy obtained by next-generation sequencing for all 24 chromosomes.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Canadian fertility centre.

Patient(s): A total of 3,118 embryos from 407 male patients, allocated into three paternal age groups: group A, ≤39 years (n = 203); group B, 40-49 years (n = 161); group C, ≥50 years (n = 43).

Intervention(s): None.

Main outcome measure(s): The primary outcomes were aneuploidy, euploidy, mosaicism, and blastocyst formation rates. Secondary endpoints were comparison of specific chromosome aneuploidy, segmental and complex (involving two chromosomes + mosaicism >50%) aneuploidy, and analysis of overall percentage of chromosomal gains and losses within each group.

Result(s): The study included 437 in vitro fertilization (IVF) antagonist cycles using 302 oocyte donors in which preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy was performed. Overall, 70.04% of embryos were euploid, 13.9% were aneuploid, and 16.06% were mosaic. No significant differences among paternal age groups A, B, and C were found in euploidy rates (69.2%, 70.6%, 71.4%, respectively), aneuploidy rates (14.7%, 12.8%, 13.9%, respectively) or mosaicism rates (16.1%, 16.6%, 13.6%; respectively). The fertilization rate was lower in group C compared with group B (76.35% vs. 80.09%). No difference was found in blastocyst formation rate between the study groups (median 52% [interquartile range, 41%, 67%] vs. 53% [42%, 65%] vs. 52% [42%, 64%], respectively). A generalized linear mixed model regression analysis for embryo ploidy rates found older oocyte donor age to be independently associated with embryo aneuploidy (odds ratio = 1.041; 95% CI, 1.009-1.074). The rate of segmental aneuploidies was significantly higher in the older versus younger paternal age group (36.6% vs. 19.4%).

Conclusion(s): No association was found between paternal age and aneuploidy rates in embryos derived from IVF cycles using young oocyte donors, after adjusting for donor, sperm, and IVF cycle characteristics. Advanced paternal age ≥ 50, compared with younger paternal ages, was associated with a lower fertilization rate and increased rate of segmental aberrations.

Keywords: Oocyte donor; chromosomal aberrations; in vitro fertilization; paternal age; preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy.