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OBJECTIVE: To propose a new gene expression signature that identifies endometrial disruptions independent of endometrial luteal phase timing and predicts if patients are at risk of endometrial failure. DESIGN: Multicentric, prospective study. SETTING: Reproductive medicine research department in a public hospital affiliated with private fertility clinics and a reproductive genetics laboratory. PATIENTS: Caucasian women (n = 281; 39.4 ± 4.8 years old with a body mass index of 22.9 ± 3.5 kg/m2) undergoing hormone replacement therapy between July 2018 and July 2021. Endometrial samples from 217 patients met RNA quality criteria for signature discovery and analysis. INTERVENTION(S): Endometrial biopsies collected in the mid-secretory phase. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Endometrial luteal phase timing-corrected expression of 404 genes and reproductive outcomes of the first single embryo transfer (SET) after biopsy collection to identify prognostic biomarkers of endometrial failure. RESULTS: Removal of endometrial timing variation from gene expression data allowed patients to be stratified into poor (n = 137) or good (n = 49) endometrial prognosis groups on the basis of their clinical and transcriptomic profiles. Significant differences were found between endometrial prognosis groups in terms of reproductive rates: pregnancy (44.6% vs. 79.6%), live birth (25.6% vs. 77.6%), clinical miscarriage (22.2% vs. 2.6%), and biochemical miscarriage (20.4% vs. 0%). The relative risk of endometrial failure for patients predicted as a poor endometrial prognosis was 3.3 times higher than those with a good prognosis. The differences in gene expression between both profiles were proposed as a biomarker, coined the endometrial failure risk (EFR) signature. Poor prognosis profiles were characterized by 59 upregulated and 63 downregulated genes mainly involved in regulation (17.0%), metabolism (8.4%), immune response, and inflammation (7.8%). This EFR signature had a median accuracy of 0.92 (min = 0.88, max = 0.94), median sensitivity of 0.96 (min = 0.91, max = 0.98), and median specificity of 0.84 (min = 0.77, max = 0.88), positioning itself as a promising biomarker for endometrial evaluation. CONCLUSION(S): The EFR signature revealed a novel endometrial disruption, independent of endometrial luteal phase timing, present in 73.7% of patients. This EFR signature stratified patients into 2 significantly distinct and clinically relevant prognosis profiles providing opportunities for personalized therapy. Nevertheless, further validations are needed before implementing this gene signature as an artificial intelligence (AI)-based tool to reduce the risk of patients experiencing endometrial failure.

Original publication




Journal article


Fertil Steril

Publication Date



artificial intelligence, endometrial-factor infertility, gene expression signature, patient stratification, precision medicine