Rationale: The borderline form of empty follicle syndrome (EFS) is a phenomenon where only a few mature or immature oocytes are retrieved despite adequate response to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH). It is a rare phenomenon with an unclear underlying mechanism, and there is currently no effective treatment. Patient concerns: The patient received 3 assisted reproductive technology cycles, and although her follicular development and estrogen levels were normal during COH, the outcome with respect to the oocytes obtained was unsatisfactory. Diagnoses: Borderline form of EFS. Interventions: In the context of undergoing GnRH-antagonist protocol, we implemented a double-trigger with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) after 6hours of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH-a) administration. Outcomes: Eleven oocytes were obtained (M I x 3, M II x 8), which underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF). After 18hours, 7 oocytes showed normal fertilization, with 2 embryos formed 72hours later (embryo rating, 6C II x 1, 9C II x 1); the embryos were then frozen. Lessons: Oocyte maturation and ovulation are time-dependent processes, and that different patients require different lengths/intervals of time for treatment. Therefore, the borderline form of EFS, in general, may be treatable, and our novel trigger method provides a new treatment option for such patients in the future.
To investigate the reproductive outcomes after the use of GnRH agonist (GnRHa) compared with hCG for the induction of final oocyte maturation in GnRH antagonist cycles performed in hyper-responder women aged 35–40 years. Retrospective study. Academic fertility center. Two hundred seventy-two hyper-responder women aged 35–40 years who underwent controlled ovarian stimulation under GnRH antagonist suppression were included. Final oocyte maturation was performed with GnRHa (n = 168) or hCG (n = 104). Embryos were cryopreserved at the blastocyst stage and transferred in subsequent warming cycles (n = 542). Subjects were included in the analysis until live birth was achieved, after which they were excluded from further analysis. None. Cumulative live birth rate. Subjects in the GnRHa group achieved a higher number of oocytes (22 vs. 21) and a higher number of mature oocytes (16 vs. 14). The number of cryopreserved blastocysts (median of five blastocysts in both groups) was similar. Women in the hCG group needed a lower number of warming cycles to achieve live birth (1.32 vs. 2.12), had higher embryo implantation rates (48% vs. 39%), and the proportion of embryos transferred until live birth was lower (33% vs. 57%). The cumulative live birth rate was similar between the groups (48.15% vs. 48%). Although the cumulative live birth rate is similar, a single dose of GnRHa possibly results in suboptimal oocyte and embryo competence, as manifested by decreased embryo implantation rates and increased time needed to achieve live birth.
Abstract Pituitary mRNA levels of gonadotropin β-subunits and of their cognate receptors in the testis were studied during puberty in Atlantic cod under normal and experimental photoperiod conditions that suppressed, delayed or accelerated testis maturation. Results are discussed in context with changes in testicular histology and plasma androgen levels, considered as end points of gonadotropic regulation. Up-regulation of fshb was closely associated with the onset of puberty, decreased when spermatogenesis was completed and reached minimum levels after spawning. These results demonstrate, for the first time using an experimental approach, that activation of Fsh-dependent signaling is associated with spermatogonial proliferation and formation of spermatogenic cysts. Changes in fshr expression were less prominent and could be explained by changes in the cellular composition and RNA content of cod testis tissue. At more advanced stages of development (spermiogenesis, spermiation and spawning), lhb and, one month later, lhcgr transcript levels increased and reached peak values in spawning fish, in a positive feedback loop involving plasma androgens and Lh/Lhcgr-dependent signaling. This loop was broken by a loss of lhb expression at the end of the spawning season. Continuous light (LL) from summer solstice, ∼8 months prior to spawning, suppressed the start of testis maturation and the changes in gonadotropin and receptor mRNA levels, while LL from winter solstice initially up-regulated lhb and lhcgr expression, before resulting in a precocious termination of the spawning season and low expression of all four genes. Our studies provide experimental evidence for a clear functional discrimination of cod gonadotropins.
BACKGROUND: Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) has been recently proposed as a marker for ovarian ageing and poor ovarian response to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in assisted reproduction cycles. The present study was undertaken to investigate the usefulness of baseline cycle day 3 AMH levels and AMH serum concentrations obtained on the fifth day of gonadotropin therapy in predicting ovarian response and pregnancy in women undergoing ovarian stimulation with FSH under pituitary desensitization for assisted reproduction. METHODS: A total of 80 women undergoing their first cycle of IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment were studied. Twenty consecutive cycles which were cancelled because of a poor follicular response were initially selected. As a control group, 60 women were randomly selected from our assisted reproduction programme matching by race, age, body mass index, basal FSH and indication for IVF/ICSI to those in the cancelled group. For each cancelled patient, three IVF/ICSI women who met the matching criteria were included. RESULTS: Basal and day 5 AMH serum concentrations were significantly lower in the cancelled than in the control group. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis showed that the capacity of day 5 AMH in predicting the likelihood of cancellation in an assisted reproduction treatment programme was significantly higher than that for basal AMH measurement. However, the predictive capacity of day 5 AMH was not better than that provided by day 5 estradiol. In addition, neither basal nor day 5 AMH or estradiol measurements were useful in the prediction of pregnancy after assisted reproductive treatment. CONCLUSIONS: AMH concentrations obtained early in the follicular phase during ovarian stimulation under pituitary suppression for assisted reproduction are better predictors of ovarian response than basal AMH measurements. However, AMH is not useful in the prediction of pregnancy. Definite clinical applicability of AMH determination as a marker of IVF outcome remains to be established.
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome remains a serious complication during in vitro fertilization cycles if high dose human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is used to trigger ovulation in high responder patients. Though much of this risk is mitigated with trigger using gonadotropin releasing-hormone (GnRH) agonist alone, it may result in lower birth rates. GnRH-agonist trigger and adjuvant low dose hCG has been proposed to improve birth rates, but timing of this hCG support to corpus luteum function has never been fully described. In this randomized, prospective trial, we explore differences in live birth rates and incidence of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) in high-responder patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) receiving low dose hCG at the time of GnRH-agonist (dual trigger) or hCG adjuvant at the time of oocyte retrieval. Does the timing of hCG support make a difference? Thirty-four subjects high-responder patients were randomized to receive low-dose hCG at the time of GnRH-agonist trigger (Group 1) and 37 received low-dose hCG at the time of oocyte retrieval (Group 2). There were no differences in the baseline characteristics and outcome of ovarian stimulation between the two groups. There were no differences in the live birth rates between Group 1 and Group 2 by intention-to-treat (14/34, 41.2% versus 21/37, 56.8%, p = 0.19) or per-protocol (14/26, 53.8% versus 19/31, 61.3%, p = 0.57) analyses. There was a slightly higher incidence of OHSS in Group 2 compared to Group 1 although the difference was not statistically significant (3/31, 9.7% versus 1/26, 3.8%). All the cases of OHSS in Group 2 were moderate while the one case of OHSS in Group 1 was mild. For high responder patients receiving GnRH-agonist trigger, low dose hCG supplementation allowed high pregnancy rates after fresh embryo transfer, regardless of whether it was given at the time of trigger or at oocyte retrieval. Dual trigger may be preferable to reduce the risk of OHSS.
CGβ subunits comprise a unique carboxyl-terminal peptide (CTP) that has multiple O-linked glycans and extends serum half-life of the protein. It has evolved by incorporating a previously untranslated region of the LHβ gene into the reading frame. Although CTP-like sequences are encrypted in the LHβ genes of several mammals, the CGβ subunit developed only in primates and equids. To study this restriction in evolution, we examined whether the cryptic CTP decoded from the bovine LHβ gene (boCTP) possesses key characteristics of the human (h) CGβ-CTP. The boCTP does not impede several crucial aspects of hormone biosynthesis, but compared to the hCGβ-CTP, the stretch lacks O-glycans and determinants for circulatory survival. O-glycan deficiency and the associated incapacity to extend serum half-life is a major drawback of the boCTP. This may explain why LH did not evolve into CG in ruminants and consequently alternative mechanisms evolved to delay luteolysis early in gestation.