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Robust Automated Assessment of Human Blastocyst Quality using Deep Learning

By Pegah Khosravi, Ehsan Kazemi, Qiansheng Zhan, Marco Toschi, Jonas E. Malmsten, Cristina Hickman, Marcos Meseguer, Zev Rosenwaks, Olivier Elemento, Nikica Zaninovic, Iman Hajirasouliha

Posted 20 Aug 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/394882

Morphology assessment has become the standard method for evaluation of embryo quality and selecting human blastocysts for transfer in in-vitro fertilization (IVF). This process is highly subjective for some embryos and thus prone to human bias. As a result, morphological assessment results may vary extensively between embryologists and in some cases may fail to accurately predict embryo implantation and live birth potential. Here we postulated that an artificial intelligence (AI) approach trained on thousands of embryos can reliably predict embryo quality without human intervention. To test this hypothesis, we implemented an AI approach based on deep neural networks (DNNs). Our approach called STORK accurately predicts the morphological quality of blastocysts based on raw digital images of embryos with 98% accuracy. These results indicate that a DNN can automatically and accurately grade embryos based on raw images. Using clinical data for 2,182 embryos, we then created a decision tree that integrates clinical parameters such as embryo quality and patient age to identify scenarios associated with increased or decreased pregnancy chance. This IVF data-driven analysis shows that the chance of pregnancy varies from 13.8% to 66.3%. In conclusion, our AI-driven approach provides a novel way to assess embryo quality and uncovers new, potentially personalized strategies to select embryos with an improved likelihood of pregnancy outcome.

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