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J Assist Reprod Genet. 2003 Jun;20(6):241-7.

Serum inhibin B correlates with successful ovulation in infertile women.

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Department of Pediatric, Obstetric and Reproductive Medicine, Chair of Obstetric and Gynecology, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy.



To investigate whether inhibin B and activin A serum and follicular fluid levels in infertile women undergoing induction of superovulation correlate with successful ovulation.


Infertile women (n = 16) (30-43 years of age) undergoing induction of superovulation for assisted reproduction were studied. A blood sample was collected before and days 3, 8, and 12 during the induction of superovulation. A follicular fluid sample at the time of ovarian pick up was also collected. Serum and follicular fluid were assayed for inhibin B, activin A, and estradiol.


According to the successful follicular development women were divided in two groups: (A) responders (n = 10) and (B) poor responders (n = 6). Women of group A showed mean follicular fluid inhibin B levels higher than in group B (P = 0.001), while no significant difference for activin A levels was found. During induction of superovulation serum activin A levels did not change in both groups of women, while inhibin B and estradiol levels significantly increase only in responder women (P < 0.001). Serum inhibin B and estradiol levels correlated with follicles developed > or = 10 mm (P = 0.000).


Serum inhibin B is an effective marker of follicular development in infertile women undergoing induction of superovulation, and may represent a further marker for ovarian follicular capacity.

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