Objective. To determine the growth and physical outcome at 2 years of age for children born after assisted reproductive techniques in the state of Victoria.
Design. Using a case-matched control study between January 1991 and July 1993, 314 children (196 singletons, 47 sets of twins, 8 sets of triplets) conceived after in vitro fertilization (IVF) and related techniques at the Monash IVF and Royal Women's Hospital Reproductive Biology Unit and 150 control children (113 singletons, 17 sets of twins, 1 set of triplets) randomly selected from the general population using the Victorian Perinatal Data Collection Unit records were enrolled to be examined for minor dysmorphic and major organ abnormalities. Singleton and twin cases were matched for plurality and gestation and date of birth. Triplets were not matched.
Results. IVF status was not a significant independent factor for physical outcomes, including malformation rates, nor for days of hospitalization postdischarge and operations. There was no significant interaction between IVF status and mean percentiles for weight and head circumference. The IVF group had a greater mean length percentile. Twins in both groups had significantly poorer physical outcomes than singletons on some measures.
Conclusion. This study did not demonstrate an independent IVF effect on the growth and physical outcome of children at 2 years of age when matched for plurality and gestation. The poor outcomes where noted were related to the effects of multiple births. These findings must be viewed in context of the response rates and therefore representativeness of the data. The need for longitudinal studies is demonstrated.
- Received November 28, 1994.
- Accepted June 5, 1995.
- Copyright © 1996 by the American Academy of Pediatrics