Ultrastructure of coarse granules in the perivitelline space and association with ovulation induction protocols.

Bulgurcuoglu-Kuran S., Altun A., Karakus F. N., Kotil T., Ozsait-Selcuk B. Ş.

JBRA assisted reproduction, 2023 (ESCI) identifier



Objective: To evaluate the origin and ultrastructure of the coarse granules in the perivitelline space (PVS) of oocytes of a group of couples attending assisted reproduction treatment.

Methods: The ultrastructure of five oocytes with coarse granulues in the PVS obtained from three patients were evaluated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The influence of the ovulation induction regimen on the formation of granules in the PVS of the oocytes of 214 couples and the developmental capacity of these oocytes presenting granules in the PVS was analyzed retrospectively.

Results: In TEM analysis, the microvilli structure was irregular, short, and loosely scattered through the oolemma in the oocytes presenting coarse granules in the PVS. Furthermore, dense lipid droplets were identified within the PVS and the surrounding cumulus cells. In retrospective analysis, the number of oocytes with coarse granules in the PVS was positively correlated with the duration of antagonist administration (r=0.23, p=0.013). Regardless of the type of granule, the presence of coarse or moderately coarse granules in the PVS was positively correlated with low-quality embryos on D3 (r=0.29, p=0.005) and the total number of arrested embryos up to D3 (r=0.33, p<0.001). Furthermore, the presence of coarse granules in the PVS severely exacerbated miscarriage rates.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the presence of especially coarse granules in the PVS is correlated with the reduction of further embryonic developmental capacity in post-implantation stages of embryonic development, indicating a negative impact from aggressive ovulation induction protocols on developing oocytes