Publication date: Jun 29, 2023
It is assumed that SARS-CoV-2- and COVID-19-associated autoimmune processes may affect the outcomes of assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles. This observational prospective study included 240 infertile patients: 105 patients had no history of COVID-19 (group 1) and 135 patients had experienced COVID-19 (group 2) in a mild (n = 85) or moderate (n = 50) form less than 12 months prior to oocyte retrieval. Using ELISAs, the profiles of their serum autoantibodies were determined, including antiphospholipid antibodies and antibodies to nuclear and thyroid antigens. The parameters of oogenesis and embryogenesis, as well as the pregnancy and childbirth rates, did not differ between groups 1 and 2, and also between the subgroups with different severities of COVID-19. However, when oocyte retrieval was performed less than 180 days after COVID-19, a higher proportion of poor-quality blastocysts was obtained (p = 0. 006). A high risk of early miscarriage was found in the patients with moderate COVID-19. In group 2, IgG antibodies to annexin V, phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), and TSHr were detected more often than in group 1 (p = 0. 035; p = 0. 028; and p = 0. 033, respectively), and a weak inverse correlation was revealed between anti-PE IgG and the number of oocytes and zygotes obtained. The results of the study suggest a possible adverse effect of COVID-19 and its associated autoantibodies on the outcomes of fresh oocyte ART cycles and early pregnancy, which depends on the severity of COVID-19 and the time interval after the disease.
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|Embryogenesis||assisted reproductive technology|