Predicting In-Vitro Success

Antimullerian hormone levels can predict the number of eggs that will be formed for each menstrual cycle

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) In-Vitro fertilization is costly to both the pocketbook and emotions of  young couples engaging in this hopeful procedure. A study by Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital shows a blood test may help predict the number of eggs that will be harvested.

Patients and physicians can then determine if there are enough eggs to justify the likelihood of a successful pregnacy cycle.

A new test to help the in-vitro fertilization process may be available.

Geralyn Lambert-Messerlian, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a researcher in the Division of Medical Screening and Special Testing at Women & Infants Hospital reports that clinicians measuring AMH before or during ovarian stimulation is predictive to couples about their likelihood of successful fertilization.

Blazar, who is also a clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Alpert Medical School reports the main point of this paper is to encourage testing prior to initiating an IVF cycle to allow modification of your treatment, if necessary. 

Blazer says their hope is that eventually one can now do the AMH test in the same cycle and not wait until you have another cycle.

AMH is produced by small follicles in the ovaries which helps stimulate egg production. AMH levels measured with a simple blood test  are an indicator of how many follicles a woman has at the time of the hormone measurement.

The Brown University research team measured AMH levels twice in 190 IVF patients, ages 22 to 44. The levels were taken at the beginning of the woman's cycle and the end of the follicle stimulation period. 

Then, the AMH levels were compared to the number of  eggs the physicians were able to harvest. Blood tests were performed again after implantation. 

The researchers found that women with low AMH levels yielded only about six eggs for harvest, while women who had more than three times as much AMH were able to have around 20 eggs harvested.

In this study, AMH also was predictive of whether pregnancy would occur.  Only about 25 percent of women with low levels of AMH were pregnant five to six weeks after the IVF procedure. Among women with more than three nanograms, 60 percent were pregnant at six weeks.

Lambert-Messerlian informs that this contradicts earlier studies that indicate no association with AMH levels and positive pregnancy outcomes.

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Review Date: 
June 9, 2011
Last Updated:
June 13, 2011