Vascular Health of Children Conceived via In Vitro Fertilization

Wendy Y. Zhang, Elif Seda Selamet Tierney, Angela C. Chen, Albee Y. Ling, Raquel R. Fleischmann, Valerie L. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate whether in vitro fertilization (IVF) has an effect on the cardiovascular health of offspring. Study design: This was a cross-sectional pilot study. We performed vascular health assessment for 17 children aged 10-14 years who were conceived via IVF with autologous oocytes at Stanford University. Carotid artery ultrasound evaluated intima-media thickness and stiffness, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity determined segmental arterial stiffness, and endothelial pulse amplitude testing assessed endothelial function. We compared IVF offspring with control adolescents assessed in the same laboratory, with all comparisons adjusted for age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Results: All participants had normal body mass index and blood pressure. Compared with controls, IVF children had thicker common carotid artery intima-media thickness (0.44 ± 0.03 mm vs 0.38 ± 0.03 mm; P < .01), higher elastic modulus (395.29 ± 185.33 mm Hg vs 242.79 ± 37.69 mm Hg; P = .01), higher βstiffness (2.65 ± 0.38 vs 2.28 ± 0.23; P < .01), and higher peak velocity (142.29 ± 31.62 cm/s vs 117.71 ± 32.69 cm/s; P = .04). The mean endothelial pulse amplitude testing reactive hyperemia index was not significantly different between IVF and controls. The mean pulse wave velocity was 4.69 ± 0.51 m/s compared with the controls 4.60 ± 0.57 m/s (P = .11), with 8 (47%) having abnormal values. Conclusion: In an assessment of endothelial function and arterial properties of children conceived via IVF, we found that children conceived via IVF seem to have evidence of abnormal vascular health. Further studies with larger sample size and long-term follow-up are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • beta-stiffness
  • carotid intima-media thickness
  • elastic modulus
  • endothelial pulse amplitude testing
  • pulse wave velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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