STUDY QUESTION Are first trimester trophoblast volume (TV) and placental bed vascular volume (PBVV) different in IVF or IVF/ICSI pregnancies in comparison with spontaneously conceived pregnancies? SUMMARY ANSWER Any possible abnormal placentation in IVF or IVF/ICSI pregnancies in comparison with spontaneously conceived pregnancies is not detected by a difference in PBVV or TV at an early gestational age (GA). WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY Assisted reproductive technology pregnancies have been associated with an increased risk of placenta-related adverse pregnancy outcomes. It is unclear whether these effects originate from infertility or from the technique itself. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION We performed a retrospective cohort study in which 154 pregnant patients qualified for participation. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS Out of 154 pregnant patients, 84 conceived spontaneously and 70 conceived after IVF or IVF/ICSI. We determined the TV at 10 weeks GA by Virtual Organ Computer-aided AnaLysis measuring application and the PBVV at 12 weeks GA by the virtual reality operating system of BARCO I-Space in both subgroups. The investigators were blinded to the mode of conception during the measurements. Analysis was limited to singleton pregnancies with only one sac ever detectable. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE There were no differences in TV (mean 42.7, SD 15.9 versus mean 41.2, SD 13.9, P = 0.70) and PBVV (mean 27.6, SD 16.9 versus mean 24.8, SD 19.9, P = 0.20) between IVF or IVF/ICSI pregnancies and spontaneously conceived pregnancies. There was a significant correlation between TV and PBVV (r<inf>s</inf> = 0.283, P = 0.004). LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION The limitations of the present study concern the small size of the study groups. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS IVF or IVF/ICSI does not seem to be associated with abnormal placentation.

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Human Reproduction
Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics

Rifouna, M., Reus, A., Koning, A., van der Spek, P., Exalto, N., Steegers, E., & Laven, J. (2014). First trimester trophoblast and placental bed vascular volume measurements in IVF or IVF/ICSI pregnancies. Human Reproduction, 29(12), 2644–2649. doi:10.1093/humrep/deu273