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Hum Reprod. 1997 Jul;12(7):1399-402.

An artificially induced follicle stimulating hormone surge at the time of human chorionic gonadotrophin administration in controlled ovarian stimulation cycles has no effect on cumulus expansion, fertilization rate, embryo quality and implantation rate.

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IVF Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


In the spontaneous menstrual cycle, the mid-cycle gonadotrophin surge causes maturation of the cumulus-oocyte complex, mucification of cumulus cells and expansion of the cumulus oophorus, resumption of meiosis and maturation of the cytoplasm of the oocyte. Whether this is an effect purely of luteinizing hormone (LH) or whether follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) also plays a role is unknown. The effect of an artificially induced FSH surge at the time of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) injection on maturation of the cumulus-oocyte complex was investigated in a prospective randomized double-blind trial. Twelve patients underwent controlled ovarian hyperstimulation [long gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa)/human menopausal gonadotrophin (HMG) protocol] for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. At the time of HCG administration, six patients received a bolus injection of FSH (450 IU i.m.); the other six patients received a placebo. The peak plasma concentrations of FSH of the experimental group were compared with the peak values of FSH obtained at the mid-cycle gonadotrophin surge of the natural cycle of a group of 12 volunteers to validate the bolus injection of FSH. Maturation of the cumulus-oocyte complex was quantified by measuring the expansion of the cumulus, by the fertilization rate and the implantation rate. The quality of the embryos was scored according the average morphology score. The bolus injection of FSH mimicked the mid-cycle gonadotrophin surge. The mean peak value of FSH (12.9 IU/l) in the experimental group was fully comparable with the mean peak value of FSH (10.0 IU/l) of the mid-cycle gonadotrophin surge in the natural cycle. No effect of a bolus injection of FSH on the maturation of the cumulus-oocyte complex or any other outcome variable was found. It is not advantageous to combine the final HCG injection with a bolus injection of FSH in GnRHa/HMG stimulated cycles.

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