Guwahati-based IHR gives fresh hope to infertile couples with breakthrough test tube baby

Guwahati, February 26, 2017: In a remarkable development in the field of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF or test tube baby), and giving a hope to many couples suffering from childlessness, Guwahati-based Institute of Human Reproduction (IHR) has successfully undertaken a latest method in IVF to deliver a healthy baby. The Institute of Human Reproduction utilized the Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology for the first time in Northeast India to successfully fertilize, impregnate and deliver a healthy baby on October 13, 2016. Now at 4 months after delivery, the baby boy is doing well and has achieved normal milestone.

“We are happy and proud to inform about the successful milestone we achieved through the process. This is a remarkable achievement for the team of IHR. With the development of NGS, identification of implantable embryos continues to improve. This technology is  useful for couples with repeated IVF failures, couples of advanced age, couples with repeated abortions or with inherited chromosomal rearrangements such as Robertsonian or reciprocal translocation,” said Dr Deepak Goenka, gynaecologist & infertility specialist and director, Institute of Human Reproduction.

NGS is an emerging technology which provides an unprecedented data for genetic analysis.  With the help of this technique, a highly accurate detection of chromosomally abnormal embryos can be achieved.

Institute of Human Reproduction (IHR) is one of the pioneer hospitals in the world that uses this technology which provides an outstanding accuracy.  The newer technique - NGS - screens for all 23 pairs of chromosomes for aneuploidies. It provides a higher accuracy and sensitivity compared to other platforms. Using NGS, more detailed genetic information can be obtained through the genome sequencing of embryos. The use of this technique is cost efficient. The sensitivity and specificity of this test is 99%.

IHR has beendoing Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) and Preimplantation GeneticScreening (PGS) since 2008. In 2009, the institute performed the firstsuccessful delivery of a baby with the help of PGD to a parent who hadrecurrent pregnancy loss. Most of the initial work at that time involvedbiopsies of single blastomeres from day 3 embryos and the use of theFluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) technique. But the limited diagnosticaccuracy of the FISH technology compromised any potential benefit of screening.

IHR is oneof the few institutes in India, and the first in Eastern India, to have startedusing the new technology to give better pregnancy results. “When Rakhi (namechanged to protect identity) visited IHR in 2014, she had a history ofinfertility for more than 3 years. Her previous reports showed bilateral tubalblock and polycystic ovaries. The patient was advised IVF. She underwent herfirst IVF cycle in August 2014, from which 6 blastocysts were obtained andthree FET’s were done but none of them resulted in successful pregnancy. Rakhiunderwent second IVF cycle in October 2015. Six blastocysts of grade A wereobtained and PGS with NGS was done. Out of the six blastocysts only one wasnormal. FET was done with the normal blastocyst. Pregnancy test done onFebruary 22, 2016 was positive and she delivered a healthy baby on October 13,2016,” said Dr Deepak Goenka who accompanied a team of doctors including Mrs.Rashmi Goenka (Chief Embryologist), Dr. Kanchan Murarka (IVF Specialist), DrRajib Saikia (O & G), Dr Akbar Hussain (Anaesthetist) and Dr Rahul Verma(Paediatrician) in achieving the milestone.

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