20 October 2021 – Infants conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) may present an increased risk of a type of deformity of the skull called craniosynostosis, suggests a study in The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, edited by editor-in-chief Mutaz Habal, MD, and published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.
Although confirmation is needed, the study adds to previous evidence linking IVF to an increased prevalence of craniosynostosis, according to an Iranian research group report. The lead author was Abdoljalil Kalantar Hormozi, MD, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran.
Four percent IVF rate in infants undergoing craniosynostosis surgery
Craniosynostosis is a birth defect that occurs when the joints (sutures) between the bones in the skull close prematurely. Although craniosynostosis can occur as part of genetic disorders consisting of multiple defects, most affected infants have non-syndromic craniosynostosis without other deformities. Without corrective surgery, craniosynostosis can lead to injury or inadequate development of the growing brain.
In most cases, the cause of craniosynostosis is unknown. Some recent studies have suggested that assisted reproduction techniques – IVF being the most common – may be a risk factor for craniosynostosis. However, other studies have found no such association.
To further explore this link, Dr Hormozi and colleagues evaluated 200 infants who underwent corrective surgery for craniosynostosis at a reconstructive plastic surgery department in Tehran between 2010 and 2019. All infants had non-syndromic craniosynostosis. During the interviews, parents were asked about the use of assisted reproduction technologies, including IVF.
Eight of the 200 infants were conceived by IVF, for a four percent prevalence of craniosynostosis. By comparison, previous studies have estimated that craniosynostosis occurs in one case per 1,800 to 2,200 births. Mothers of children with craniosynostosis were older than mothers of unaffected children: average age of 39 years versus 27 years.
In all affected infants, the mothers received clomiphene citrate, a drug commonly used to induce ovulation for IVF. The specific types of craniosynostosis were similar for infants conceived by IVF compared to the overall group.
The authors recognize some key limitations of their study – in particular the lack of a comparison group of infants without craniosynostosis. “Without a control group, we are unable to report statistical results confirming or denying a link between craniosynostosis and the treatment of infertility,” write Dr Hormozi and his co-authors.
“However, the four percent prevalence of IVF use in patients with craniosynostosis is considerable,” the researchers add. They highlight the need for additional studies including larger numbers of infants and appropriate comparison groups to clarify the true association, if any, between IVF and other infertility treatments and the risk of craniosynostosis in infertility. infants.
Click here to read “The effect of the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) on the increase in the prevalence of craniosynostosis”
DOI: 10.1097 / SCS.00000000000008188
On The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery
The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery serves as a communication forum for all those involved in craniofacial and maxillofacial surgery. Coverage ranges from the practical aspects of craniofacial surgery to the basic science underlying surgical practice. Affiliates include 14 major specialty societies around the world, including the American Association of Pediatric Plastic Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatrics Section of Pediatric Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Craniofacial Surgeons, the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, the Argentina Society of Plastic Surgery. Section of Pediatric Plastic Surgery, Asia-Pacific Craniofacial Association, Association of Military Plastic Surgeons of the United States, Brazilian Society of Craniofacial Surgeons, European Society of Craniofacial Surgery, International Society of Craniofacial Surgery, the Japanese Society for Craniofacial Surgery, the Korean Society for Craniofacial Surgery, the Thai Cleft and Craniofacial Association, and the World Craniofacial Foundation.
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Journal of Craniofacial Surgery
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