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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Apr;170(4):1145-9.

Autoantibody profiles and immunoglobulin levels as predictors of in vitro fertilization success.

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  • 1Center for Human Reproduction, Foundation for Reproductive Medicine, Chicago, IL 60610.



Our aim was to determine the predictive value of autoantibody and immunoglobulin determinations as indicators of the success of in vitro fertilization.


This was a blinded study in which laboratory evaluations were performed on coded samples obtained from another institution. Codes were broken and data were analyzed after results of all laboratory tests had been reported out. One hundred five infertility patients who had undergone in vitro fertilization were randomly chosen. Among those, 46 were considered low responders (six or fewer oocytes were retrieved) and 59 as high responders (13 to 30 oocytes were retrieved). Total immunoglobulin G, M, and A levels and 15 autoantibody levels (6 antiphospholipids, 5 antihistones, and 4 antipolynucleotides) were determined separately for immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin M, and immunoglobulin A isotypes.


High and low responders demonstrated an unusual incidence of autoantibody (25% and 30%, respectively) and immunoglobulin (46% and 48%, respectively) abnormalities. They did not differ from each other, however, in either immunoglobulin or autoantibody parameters. Autoantibody and immunoglobulin abnormalities alone or in combination did not predict pregnancy success (24% vs 16%), incidence of chemical pregnancies (15% vs 24%), or clinical pregnancy loss (9% vs 11%) when such women were compared with those without either abnormality. However, the occurrence of hypergammaglobulinemias, in contrast to hypogammaglobulinemias, was associated with a significant decrease in the clinical pregnancy rate (6% vs 24%, p = 0.05).


Neither autoantibody abnormalities nor total immunoglobulin abnormalities allow differentiation between high and low responders in in vitro fertilization cycles. The presence of autoantibody and total immunoglobulin abnormalities also does not predict low clinical pregnancy rates. Within a group of women with immunoglobulin abnormalities, those with hypergammaglobulinemias appear, however, at significant risk for low pregnancy rates with in vitro fertilization. This observation suggests that high total immunoglobulin levels may serve as a marker for an as yet to be determined immunologic factor that adversely affects the chance of conception. The evaluation of total immunoglobulin levels may be indicated as part of a routine infertility workup.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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