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This article is the author's final published version in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 24, Issue 7, 2023, Article number 13147.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


This study aims to determine the association of non-essential trace elements present in follicular fluid, plasma, and urine with reproductive outcomes of women undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidies (PGT-A) and single frozen euploid embryo transfer (SET/FET). This single-center, prospective cohort study included sixty women undergoing ICSI with PGT-A and SET/FET between 2018 and 2019. Urine, plasma and follicular fluid samples were collected on the vaginal oocyte retrieval day to simultaneously quantify ten non-essential trace elements (i.e., Ba, Sr, Rb, Sn, Ti, Pb, Cd, Hg, Sb, and As). We found several associations between the levels of these non-essential trace elements and clinical IVF parameters. Specifically, the increased levels of barium in follicular fluid were negatively associated with ovarian function, pre-implantation development and embryo euploidy, while elevated strontium concentrations in this biofluid were negatively associated with impaired blastulation and embryo euploidy. Elevated plasma strontium levels were negatively associated with ovarian function, fertilization and blastulation. Enhanced presence of other trace elements in plasma (i.e., rubidium and arsenic) were associated with a diminished ovarian function and limited the number of recovered oocytes, mature oocytes and zygotes, respectively. Fully adjusted models suggested significantly lower odds of achieving a live birth when increased concentrations of barium and tin were found in urine.

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