The initial flare-up induced by gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist may serve as a predictor of ovarian response in the current IVF-ET treatment cycle in normogonadotropic women aged 40-48 years

O M Avrech, M Royburt, G Sabah, Z Zukerman, H Pinkas, S Amit, J Ovadia, B Fisch
Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics 1996, 13 (5): 395-400

OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to assess the potential role of the baseline hormone profile in combination with the initial pattern of response to gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) analogue in predicting ovarian function and hence reproductive outcome in normogonadotropic patients aged 40 years or older undergoing IVF treatment.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective analysis of 394 controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) cycles that reached the stage of oocyte retrieval was conducted. The study included 163 normogonadotropic (serum FSH < or = 15 IUIL) patients aged between 40 and 48 years who had regular menstrual cycles. Superovulation was achieved using menotropins in combination with GnRH analog (short protocol, beginning on menstrual day 2). The ovarian response was monitored on the third cycle day, the day following the first GnRH analogue administration.

RESULTS: Cycle distribution by patient age was 175 (44.4%), 122 (30.9%), and 97 (24.7%), while the patient distribution was 85 (52.2%), 48 (29.5%), and 30 (18.3%) for age groups 40-41, 42-43, and 44-48 years, respectively. The mean total dose of menotropins needed for optimal COH was 1787 IU (range, 600-6000 IU). This dose increased with age, while the yield of oocytes and embryos declined (P < 0.05; ANOVA). A positive correlation was demonstrated between the E2 level on day 3 (GnRH analogue flare effect) and the outcome of the treatment cycle (number of oocytes and embryos). Using multiple stepwise regression analysis, it was demonstrated that the initial (day 3) serum E2 levels, combined with baseline FSH levels, patients's age and body mass index enabled early prediction of the ovarian response in the current IVF-ET treatment cycle (oocytes = 8.2 - 0.18 x Age + 0.17 x BMI - 0.12 x FSH + 0.0042 x E2).

CONCLUSIONS: Multiple-parameter analysis demonstrated that the use of the initial E2 response to GnRH analogue stimulation combined with basic clinical data may assist in the prediction of ovarian function and hence the reproductive outcome in normogonadotropic IVF patients aged 40 years or older. This may serve as a clinical tool for improving patient selection and treatment outcome in IVF-ET.

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