Human ovarian tissue cryopreservation: indications and feasibility
Catherine Poirot1,2,7, Marie-Cécile Vacher-Lavenu3, Pierre Helardot4, Juliette Guibert5, Laurence Brugières6 and Pierre Jouannet2
1 Laboratoire de Biologie de la Reproduction, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, Université Paris VI, 75013 Paris, 2 Laboratoire de Biologie de la Reproduction, CECOS, Groupe Hospitalier Cochin-Saint Vincent de Paul, Université Paris V, 75014 Paris, 3 Service d’Anatomie et de Cytologie pathologiques, Groupe Hospitalier Cochin-Saint Vincent de Paul, Université Paris V, 75014 Paris, 4 Service de Chirurgie Pédiatrique, Hôpital Trousseau, Université Paris VI, 75012 Paris, 5 Service de Gynécologie Obstétrique, Groupe Hospitalier Cochin-Saint Vincent de Paul, 75014 Paris and 6 Service d’Oncologie Pédiatrique, Institut Gustave Roussy, 94800 Villejuif, France
BACKGROUND: The cryopreservation of ovarian tissue may enable women exposed to gonadotoxic treatments to have children at a later date. METHODS: Between April 1998 and October 2000, we evaluated the feasibility of long-term ovarian tissue cryopreservation in 51 women who were all at risk of becoming sterile following treatment. RESULTS: Ovarian tissue was not cryopreserved in 20 cases because of the woman’s age or premature ovarian failure. In 31 patients, ovarian tissue was frozen by a slow cooling technique using DMSO and sucrose as cryoprotectants. The patients were aged 2.7–34 years and 16 of them were old. Cryopreservation could be performed in all cases. Ovarian cortex histology was performed for all patients to evaluate the concentration of follicles. The mean number of primordial and primary follicles per mm2 was 20.36 ± 19.03 before 10 years of age, 4.13 ± 2.9 between 10 and 15 years of age and 1.63 ± 3.35 after 15 years of age. An average mean number of 26 ± 8.2 ovarian fragments (range 13–50) were cryopreserved per patient for future autografts or for in-vitro growth of follicles. CONCLUSION: Cryopreservation of ovarian tissue may be systematically proposed to young women and girls at risk of becoming sterile as a result of gonadotoxic treatment.
Key words: fertility preservation/gonadotoxic treatment/ovarian cryopreservation/ovarian follicle
Source: Human Reproduction, Vol. 17, No. 6, 1447-1452, June 2002.