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J Assist Reprod Genet. 2001 May;18(5):250-6.

The effect of exogenous luteinizing hormone (LH) on oocyte viability: evidence from a comparative study using recombinant human follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) alone or in combination with recombinant LH for ovarian stimulation in pituitary-suppressed women undergoing assisted reproduction.

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  • 1Institut Clínic of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Neonatology, Faculty of Medicine-University of Barcelona, Hospital Clínic-Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain.



The purpose of this prospective, randomized study was to compare ovarian response and oocyte and embryo yields in women undergoing ovulation induction for IVF/ICSI using recombinant human FSH (rhFSH) alone or in combination with recombinant human LH (rhLH).


Patients were randomized to receive rhFSH alone (group F; n = 13) or rhFSH + rhLH (group L; n = 15). rhFSH was administered according to a step-down protocol; patients assigned to group L received rhLH at a fixed dose of 75 IU (1 ampoule) throughout the treatment period.


The total dose of rhFSH, number of growing follicles, and serum concentrations of estradiol (E2) on the day of hCG administration were similar in both treatment groups. However, the percentage of metaphase II oocytes and fertilization rate were significantly higher in group F than in group L. The lower fertilization rates associated with rhLH were also seen in a subgroup of patients from group L who had undergone a previous ART cycle stimulated with FSH only and thus acted as their own controls. However, when in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles were considered separately, differences in fertilization rates were statistically significant only for oocytes treated by conventional IVF.


This study shows that the addition of recombinant LH to recombinant FSH in pituitary-suppressed women undergoing ART does not improve the ovarian response and even may have a negative impact on oocyte maturation and fertilization.

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