Chromosomal mosaicism in human blastocysts: the ultimate dia
Chromosomal mosaicism predominately results from errors in mitosis following fertilization. Although it appears to be less pervasive at later developmental stages, establishing the true prevalence of mosaicism in human blastocysts remains exceedingly challenging. In a clinical context, blastocyst mosaicism can only be reported based on a single TE biopsy and has been ascribed to 2–13% of embryos tested using NGS. Conversely, data from NGS studies disaggregating whole embryos suggests that mosaicism may be present in up to ~50% of blastocysts. However, differences in testing and reporting strategies, analysis platforms and the number of cells sampled inherently overshadow current data, while added uncertainties emanate from technical artefacts. Moreover, laboratory factors and aspects of in vitro culture generate further variability.

Outcome data following the transfer of blastocysts diagnosed as mosaic remain limited. Current studies suggest that the transfer of putative mosaic embryos may lead to healthy live births, but also results in significantly reduced ongoing pregnancy rates compared to the transfer of euploid blastocysts. Observations that a subset of mosaic blastocysts has the capacity to develop normally have sparked discussions regarding the ability of embryos to self-correct. However, there is currently no direct evidence to support this assumption. Nevertheless, the exclusion of mosaic blastocysts results in fewer embryos available for transfer, which may inevitably compromise treatment outcomes.