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Neurodevelopmental outcome of children born following assisted reproductive technology

28 September 2011

PhD ceremony: Ms. K.J. Middelburg, 16.15 uur, Aula Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Neurodevelopmental outcome of children born following assisted reproductive technology

Promotor(s): prof. M. Hadders-Algra, prof. M.J. Henneman, prof. A.F. Bos

Faculty: Medical Sciences


The number of children born following assisted reproductive technology (ART) has steadily risen during the last decades. In the thesis the neurodevelopmental outcome of children born after ART is evaluated up to the age of two years. First, the effects of ovarian hyperstimulation and the in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedure on neurodevelopmental outcome was studied in cohorts of singletons born following conventional IVF, IVF in the modified natural cycle (using minimal hormonal stimulation), and naturally conceived singletons born to subfertile parents. Overall, no adverse effects were identified. Secondly, neurodevelopmental outcome of children born following IVF with preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) was investigated. Follow-up showed no association between PGS conception and worse mental, psychomotor, and behavioural outcome at age two. Nonetheless, neurological condition of children born after PGS was slightly less favourable. This underscores the need for safety evaluation of new assisted reproductive technologies before large-scale implementation. Subfertility is associated with lower birth weight and shorter gestation. The relation between subfertility and neurodevelopmental outcome in our studies was inconsistent, possibly due to the selection procedure of children of fertile parents. Elucidation of the effects of subfertility in future research would be helpful to customise obstetrical and child-welfare-care.


Last modified:15 September 2017 3.40 p.m.

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