Reporting of embryo transfer methods in IVF research: a cross-sectional study

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Pietro Gambadauro a,b,*, Ramesan Navaratnarajah c,d

a. Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; b. Res Medica Sweden, Uppsala, Sweden; c. Bart’s Health NHS Trust, London, UK; d. Katherine Twining Network, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.

Reprod BioMed Online 2015;30:137-143 , DOI: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2014.10.013

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Highlights

  • Recent reports of IVF randomized trials rarely describe embryo transfer methods.
  • Most commonly reported details refer to transfer catheters or ultrasound guidance.
  • ET methods reporting is not commoner in more prestigious studies.
  • RCTs in higher impact factor journals (IF?3) are less likely to describe ET methods.
  • Methods underreporting undermines reproducibility and suitability for meta-analysis.

Abstract
The reporting of embryo transfer methods in IVF research was assessed through a cross-sectional analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published between 2010 and 2011. A systematic search identified 325 abstracts; 122 RCTs were included in the study. Embryo transfer methods were described in 42 out of 122 articles (34%). Catheters (32/42 [76%]) or ultrasound guidance (31/42 [74%]) were most frequently mentioned. Performer ‘blinding’ (12%) or technique standardization (7%) were seldom re- ported. The description of embryo transfer methods was significantly more common in trials published by journals with lower impact factor (less than 3, 39.6%; 3 or greater, 21.5%; P = 0.037). Embryo transfer methods were reported more often in trials with preg- nancy as the main end-point (33% versus 16%) or with positive outcomes (37.8% versus 25.0%), albeit not significantly. Multivariate logistic regression confirmed that RCTs published in higher impact factor journals are less likely to describe embryo transfer methods (OR 0.371; 95% CI 0.143 to 0.964). Registered trials, trials conducted in an academic setting, multi-centric studies or full-length ar- ticles were not positively associated with embryo transfer methods reporting rate. Recent reports of randomized IVF trials rarely describe embryo transfer methods. The under-reporting of research methods might compromise reproducibility and suitability for meta-analysis.

Full text available at:
Reproductive Biomedicine Online : Reporting of embryo transfer methods in IVF research: a cross-sectional study.