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Good practice recommendations for the use of time-lapse technology†

Apter, Susanna; Ebner, Thomas; Freour, Thomas; Guns, Yves; Kovacic, Borut; Le Clef, Nathalie; Marques, Monica; Meseguer, Marcos; Montjean, Debbie; Sfontouris, Ioannis; Sturmey, Roger; Coticchio, Giovanni; ESHRE Working group on Time-lapse technology


Susanna Apter

Thomas Ebner

Thomas Freour

Yves Guns

Borut Kovacic

Nathalie Le Clef

Monica Marques

Marcos Meseguer

Debbie Montjean

Ioannis Sfontouris

Giovanni Coticchio

ESHRE Working group on Time-lapse technology


STUDY QUESTION: What recommendations can be provided on the approach to and use of time-lapse technology (TLT) in an IVF laboratory?
SUMMARY ANSWER: The present ESHRE document provides 11 recommendations on how to introduce TLT in the IVF laboratory. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Studies have been published on the use of TLT in clinical embryology. However, a systematic assessment
of how to approach and introduce this technology is currently missing.
STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: A working group of members of the Steering Committee of the ESHRE Special Interest Group in Embryology and selected ESHRE members was formed in order to write recommendations on the practical aspects of TLT for the IVF laboratory.
PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: The working group included 11 members of different nationalities with internationally recognized experience in clinical embryology and basic science embryology, in addition to TLT. This document is developed according to the manual for development of ESHRE recommendations for good practice. Where possible, the statements are supported by studies retrieved from a PUBMED literature search on ‘time-lapse’ and ART.
MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: A clear clinical benefit of the use of TLT, i.e. an increase in IVF success rates, remains to be proven. Meanwhile, TLT systems are being introduced in IVF laboratories. The working group listed 11 recommendations on what to do before introducing TLT in the lab. These statements include an assessment of the pros and cons of acquiring a TLT system, selection of relevant morphokinetic parameters, selection of an appropriate TLT system with technical and customer support, development of an internal checklist and education of staff. All these aspects are explained further here, based on the current literature and expert opinion.
LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Owing to the limited evidence available, recommendations are mostly based on clinical and technical expertise. The paper provides technical advice, but leaves any decision on whether or not to use TLT to the individual centres.
WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: This document is expected to have a significant impact on future developments of clinical embryology, considering the increasing role and impact of TLT.


Apter, S., Ebner, T., Freour, T., Guns, Y., Kovacic, B., Le Clef, N., …ESHRE Working group on Time-lapse technology, . (2020). Good practice recommendations for the use of time-lapse technology†. Human Reproduction Open, 2020(2),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 19, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 19, 2020
Publication Date Feb 1, 2020
Deposit Date Mar 19, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 23, 2020
Journal Human Reproduction Open
Print ISSN 2399-3529
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2020
Issue 2
Article Number hoaa008
Keywords Time-lapse technology; ESHRE; Guideline; Embryology; Embryo selection; Morphokinetics; ART
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Copyright Statement
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact
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