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Hum Reprod. 2002 Jun;17(6):1544-7.

Low dose prednisolone administration in routine ICSI patients does not improve pregnancy and implantation rates.

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  • 1Centre for Reproductive Medicine, European Hospital, Rome, Italy. ubaldi.fm@tin.it



Glucocorticoids have been used in conjunction with zona dissection to improve pregnancy and implantation rates in IVF patients. The aim of this prospective randomized study was to evaluate the effect of low-dose prednisolone in addition to the standard protocol, on pregnancy and implantation rates in routine ICSI patients before and after embryo replacement.


A total of 313 patients in 360 consecutive cycles (patients <39 years old and with three or less than three ICSI attempts) performed at our centre were randomly assigned by computer-generated list to receive either prednisolone (10 mg/day in two divided doses), starting on the first day of ovarian stimulation and continuing for 4 weeks (group A), or no treatment (group B).


The mean age, number of previously failed IVF attempts, basal FSH levels and the mean rank of trials were comparable between groups A and B. The mean (+/- SD) number of metaphase II oocytes retrieved (11.9 +/- 5.5 versus 12.0 +/- 5.1), 2-pronuclei fertilization rate (67.2 versus 65.8%), the pregnancy and the implantation rates were not different between the study and control groups (49.0 and 23.6% versus 50.0 and 23.3% respectively).


Low-dose prednisolone treatment in addition to the standard protocol before and after embryo replacement does not appear to have a significant effect on pregnancy or implantation rates.

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