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Hum Reprod. 2009 Sep;24(9):2293-302. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dep069. Epub 2009 May 14.

Homocysteine concentrations in follicular fluid are associated with poor oocyte and embryo qualities in polycystic ovary syndrome patients undergoing assisted reproduction.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey.



A poor quality of oocytes and embryos and a low fertilization rate have been found in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) patients. An inverse association between follicular fluid homocysteine (Hcy) levels and oocyte and embryo quality has also been demonstrated. We examined the relationship between follicular fluid Hcy concentrations and oocyte and embryo quality in PCOS patients undergoing assisted reproduction.


Fifty-two PCOS patients were included in the study, and underwent GnRH agonist/recombinant FSH treatment. The Hcy, folate, vitamin B(12), malonyldialdehyde (MDA) and estradiol (E(2)) levels were measured in follicular fluid from single oocytes at time of retrieval. One follicle per ovary was sampled and 94 were analysed. Plasma hormones were also measured. Oocytes and embryos were graded (1-3) using standard approaches.


The concentrations of Hcy, E(2), vitamin B(12), folate and MDA in plasma were higher than in follicular fluid (all P < 0.001). Significant differences were observed in follicular Hcy levels between Grade 3 and Grade 2 oocytes (P < 0.001). Hcy levels were lower in Grade 1-2 embryos than that in Grade 3 embryos; follicular fluid vitamin B(12) levels were lower in patients showing high concentrations of follicular fluid Hcy (P < 0.01). The follicular fluid Hcy levels were negatively correlated with follicular fluid vitamin B(12) (r = -0.44), folate (r = -0.68) and fertilization rate (r = -0.85), and positively correlated with follicular fluid MDA (r = 0.51).


Concentrations of Hcy in follicular fluid on the dOPU may be a useful marker for fertilization rate, and oocyte and embryo quality in PCOS patients undergoing assisted reproduction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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