Ovarian androgens but not estrogens correlate with the degree of systemic inflammation observed during controlled ovarian hyperstimulation

Raoul Orvieto, Naama Fisch, Vered Yulzari-Roll, Antonio La Marca
Gynecological Endocrinology 2005, 21 (3): 170-3

AIM: To investigate the behavior and association of serum androgen and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients undergoing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) for in vitro fertilization (IVF).

DESIGN: Prospective, observational study.Setting. An IVF unit of an academic medical center.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Blood was drawn three times during the COH cycle from 15 patients undergoing the long gonadotropin-releasing hormone-analog protocol: the day on which adequate suppression was obtained (Day-S); the day of or prior to administration of human chorionic gonadotropin (Day-hCG); and the day of ovum pick-up (Day-OPU). Levels of sex steroids and serum CRP were compared among the three time points.

RESULTS: There was a significant increase in serum ovarian androgen levels during gonadotropin treatment. After hCG administration, there was a significant increase in the levels of both serum CRP and ovarian androgens (testosterone, androstenedione), with no significant change in adrenal androgen (dehydroepiandrosterone). Significant correlations were observed between CRP and ovarian androgen levels but not with dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate or estradiol levels.

CONCLUSION: In patients undergoing COH for IVF, ovarian androgen levels increase in correlation with the degree of inflammation, as reflected by CRP levels. Further studies are necessary to elucidate whether androgens play a role in or are predictive of the systemic inflammatory response in COH.

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