Performance of basal follicle-stimulating hormone in the prediction of poor ovarian response and failure to become pregnant after in vitro fertilization: a meta-analysis

László F. J. M. M. Bancsi, Frank J. M. Broekmans, Ben W. J. Mol, J. Dik F. Habbema, Egbert R. te Velde

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OBJECTIVE: To assess the predictive performance and clinical value of basal FSH as a test for ovarian reserve in in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients. DESIGN: Meta-analysis. SETTING: Tertiary fertility center. PATIENT(S): Patients undergoing IVF. INTERVENTION(S): None. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Poor ovarian response, nonpregnancy. RESULT(S): We located 21 studies that had reported on basal FSH and IVF outcome. No single study met high standards of methodological rigor; most studies are of moderate methodological quality only. The summary receiver operating characteristic curve indicated a moderate predictive performance for poor response, and a low predictive performance for nonpregnancy. Predictions with a substantial shift from pre-FSH-test probability to post-FSH test probability are only achieved at extreme cut-off levels for basal FSH. Sensitivity of such cut-off levels, for both the prediction of poor response and nonpregnancy, is limited. CONCLUSION(S): Clinical value of testing for basal FSH is restricted to a small minority of patients. Basal FSH should not be regarded as a useful routine test for the prediction of IVF outcome. The development of better tests to assess ovarian reserve remains of importance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1091-1100
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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