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Research Article

The oil overlay in micro drop culture systems prevents medium evaporation, helps to maintain appropriate pH and
osmotic conditions and protects from microbial contamination. In the present study, we prospectively compared
covering by Ovoil™, a paraffin oil, and LiteOil, a mineral oil, on the in vitro development of human embryos and
their suitability for transfer/freezing at day 3 and live birth rate. One hundred and one patients undergoing in vitro
fertilization (IVF) treatment by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) were enrolled in our study. After ICSI, 1237
oocytes were 1:1 randomly allocated into 2 groups according to the type of overlaying oil: Ovoil™ (616 oocytes) or
LiteOil (621 oocytes). Fertilization rate was assessed around 18 hour’s post-insemination (hpi) and embryos were
checked for early cleavage at 25 hpi. Embryo morphology was recorded on days 2 and 3. A total of 437 and 438
day 3 embryos were analyzed. There were no differences between the two groups in terms of fertilization rate and
occurrence of early cleavage. The proportion of top-quality embryos (41.7% vs. 41.2%) and the final utilization rates
(92.2% vs. 92.0%) were similar in Ovoil and LiteOil groups, respectively, at day 3. Live birth rate per transfer was
essentially the same with Ovoil™ overlay (26.9%) when compared to LiteOil (26.2%). Live birth rate in patients
who simultaneously received embryos from both overlay types was 17.2%. Despite the different characteristics of
these two oils regarding hydrocarbon saturation, packing and temperature storage, Ovoil and LiteOil can be used
in parallel in the same IVF protocol.


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