Recurrent miscarriage in translocation carriers: no differences in clinical characteristics between couples who accept and couples who decline PGD

G. De Krom*, Y. H. J. M. Arens, E. Coonen, C. M. A. Van Ravenswaaij-Arts, M. Meijer-Hoogeveen, J. L. H. Evers, R. J. T. Van Golde, C. E. M. De Die-Smulders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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STUDY QUESTION: Do clinical characteristics of recurrent miscarriage couples with a chromosomal abnormality and who opt for PGD differ from couples that decline PGD after extensive genetic counselling? SUMMARY ANSWER: No differences in clinical characteristics are identified between recurrent miscarriage couples carrying a structural chromosomal abnormality who opt for PGD compared with those that decline PGD after extensive genetic counselling. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Couples who have experienced two or more miscarriages (recurrent miscarriage) are at increased recurrence risk if one of the partners carries a structural chromosomal abnormality. PGD can be offered to avoid (another) miscarriage or pregnancy termination when (invasive) prenatal diagnosis shows an abnormal result. To date, no reports are available that describe reproductive decision-making after genetic counselling on PGD in these specific couples. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: Retrospective cohort study of 294 couples carrying a structural chromosomal abnormality seeking genetic counselling on PGD between 1996 and 2012. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Participants were recurrent miscarriage couples carrying a structural chromosomal abnormality. They had been referred for genetic counselling to the only national licensed PGD centre. Clinical characteristics analysed included couple associated characteristics, characteristics concerning reproductive history and external characteristics such as type of physician that referred the couple for genetic counselling and the clinical geneticist performing the counselling on PGD. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Of 294 couples referred for counselling on PGD, 26 were not accepted because they did not meet the criteria for IVF-PGD. The remaining cohort of 268 couples consisted of two-thirds female and one-third male carriers. Main PGD indications were reciprocal translocations (83.9%) and Robertsonian translocations (16.7%). Following genetic counselling, 76.9% of included couples chose PGD as their reproductive option, the others declined PGD. Reproductive choice is not influenced by sex of the translocation carrier (P = 0.499), type of chromosomal abnormality (P = 0.346), number of previous miscarriages (P = 0.882), history of termination of pregnancy (TOP) because of an unbalanced fetal karyotype (P = 0.800), referring physician (P = 0.208) or geneticist who performed the counselling (P = 0.410). LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: This study only included recurrent miscarriage couples carrying a structural chromosomal abnormality, who were actually referred to a PGD clinic for genetic counselling. We lack information on couples who were not referred for PGD. Some of these patients may not have been informed on PGD at all, while others were not referred for counselling because they did not opt for PGD to start with. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: This study shows that reproductive choices in couples with recurrent miscarriage on the basis of a structural chromosomal abnormality are not influenced by characteristics of the couple itself, nor by their obstetric history or external characteristics. These findings suggest that a couples' intrinsic attitude towards PGD treatment is a major factor influencing their reproductive choice. Future research will focus on these personal motives that seem to push reproductive decision-making following genetic counselling in a given direction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-489
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • genetic counselling
  • PGD
  • structural chromosomal abnormalities
  • recurrent miscarriage
  • reproductive decision-making

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