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Ovarian cortical follicle density in infertile women with low anti-Müllerian hormone

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PURPOSE: To evaluate the association between anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and follicle density in infertile women with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) versus women with normal ovarian reserve?

METHODS: Case-control study comparing follicle densities in ovarian cortex from 20 infertile women with DOR (AMH ≤ 5 pmol/L) and 100 controls with presumed normal ovarian reserve.

RESULTS: For all women > 25 years, the follicle densities correlated positively with AMH levels. For each single picomole per liter increase in AMH the follicle density increased by 6% (95% CI 3.3-8.5%) when adjusted for age. This was similar for women with DOR and controls. The follicle density was 1.8 follicles/mm3 cortical tissue in women with DOR versus 7.0 in age-paired controls (p = 0.04). The women with DOR had a median AMH of 1.8 pmol/L versus 14.4 pmol/L in the age-paired control group (p < 0.001). The ratio of AMH/follicle density was 1:1 (1.8/1.8) in women with DOR and 2:1 (14.4/7.0) in the age-paired controls. Analyses for gonadotropin receptor polymorphisms could not explain the characteristics of women with DOR. The proportion of secondary follicles was higher in women with DOR compared with controls (4.6% versus 1.4%, p = 0.0003). Pooling all patients, the follicle density decreased significantly by 7.7% for every year added (p < 0.0001). The women with DOR had lower follicle densities than the controls, but the slopes were equal in the two cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS: Follicle density and AMH concentrations correlate also when AMH is low. However, AMH is only a reliable marker for the true ovarian reserve when age is included in the estimation and women with DOR may have more follicles than their AMH levels imply.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Volume37
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
ISSN1058-0468
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

    Research areas

  • AMH, Diminished ovarian reserve, Follicle density, Ovarian biopsy

ID: 58465279