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Biopsies aid healthy pregnancies

Update: November, 26/2011 - 08:56

HCM CITY — Health professionals have developed an embryo-biopsy procedure for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGP), a progressive step in the country's in vitro fertilization (IVF) efforts, according to a health expert.

Dr Ho Manh Tuong, secretary general of HCM City's Society for Reproductive Medicine, and several colleagues conducted research on this topic, according to a report in Phu Nu (Women) newspaper.

The research won first prize in the annual Achievement Awards held by the HCM City Society for Reproductive Medicine (HOSREM) and Viet Nam Gynaecology and Obstetric Association in HCM City.

These awards honour and recognise obstetricians' excellence in research topics on reproductive health issues, especially infertility.

Tuong worked with Dr Truong Dinh Kiet of HCM City Medicine and Pharmacy University and Dr Dang Quang Vinh of Van Hanh General Hospital.

PGD, which is an assisted-reproductive technology performed on embryos, appears to offer the greatest results for a successful pregnancy, Tuong said.

The technology will help identify genetic defects in embryos that were fertilised in vitro.

PGD benefits the couple who carries a gene that would put their child at risk of having a serious medical condition. By having IVF and PGD, a normal embryo can then transferred to the woman's uterus.

PGD can bring hope to people with inherited genetic disease, or to those who are carriers of chromosomal translocations, which can lead to recurrent miscarriages.

The procedure is especially helpful to women aged 38 or older who are trying to conceive via IVF, or for anyone of any age with repeated IVF failure.

PGD technology was successfully performed for the first time in 1990 in the UK. More than 10,000 children nationwide have been born thanks to the technology.

In Viet Nam, many patients travel to other countries to spend US$20,000-30,000 on testing genetic defects, he said.

The success in developing an embryo-biopsy procedure for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGP) in Viet Nam will be beneficial for these patients.

Moreover, the technology could be applied in the treatment of thalassaemia in Viet Nam.

However, doctors said that the procedures were complicated and that obstetricians must have professional knowledge and advanced skills in order to use the procedure. — VNS

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