To determine whether metabolomic analysis of follicular fluid could prove a useful noninvasive technique for the selection of viable oocytes and embryos. Metabolomic analysis based on proton nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H NMR) performed on follicular fluid collected from in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients. A university research center and a private fertility clinic. Fifty-eight women undergoing IVF treatment. Follicular fluid collected at the time of oocyte retrieval. Metabolomic profile, assessment of oocyte developmental potential and embryo viability. The metabolomic profile of follicular fluid from follicles where the oocyte resulted in a fertilized egg that failed to cleave (n = 9) was distinctly different from that where oocytes developed into early cleavage-stage embryos. Discriminating metabolites included glucose, lactate, choline/phosphocholine, and lipoproteins. Comparison of follicular fluid from women who subsequently had a positive β human chorionic gonadotropin (n = 10) to those who were unsuccessful in achieving a pregnancy (n = 12) revealed metabolic differences that were correlated to cycle outcome. Differences in the metabolite composition of follicular fluid correlate with the developmental competence of the human oocyte. Therefore, metabolomic profiling of follicular fluid may prove to be an important technique in gamete/embryo selection.
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