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      Understanding Ovarian Hypo-Response to Exogenous Gonadotropin in Ovarian Stimulation and Its New Proposed Marker—The Follicle-To-Oocyte (FOI) Index


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          Hypo-responsiveness to controlled ovarian stimulation is an undervalued topic in reproductive medicine. This phenomenon manifests as a low follicles output rate (FORT) with a discrepancy between the relatively low number of pre-ovulatory follicles which develop following ovarian stimulation as compared to the number of antral follicles available at the start of stimulation. The pathophysiology mechanisms explaining the ovarian resistance to gonadotropin stimulation are not fully understood, but the fact that both hypo-responders and normal responders share similar phenotypic characteristics suggests a genotype-based mechanism. Indeed, existing evidence supports the association between specific gonadotropin and their receptor polymorphisms and ovarian hypo-response. Apart from genotypic trait, environmental contaminants and oxidative stress might also be involved in the hypo-response pathogenesis. The ratio between the number of oocytes collected at the ovum pick up and the number of antral follicles at the beginning of OS [Follicle to oocyte index (FOI)] is proposed as a novel parameter to assess the hypo-response. Compared with traditional ovarian reserve markers, FOI might reflect most optimally the dynamic nature of follicular growth in response to exogenous gonadotropin. In this review, we contextualize the role of FOI as a parameter to identify this condition, discuss the underlying mechanisms potentially implicated in the pathogenesis of hypo-response, and appraise possible the treatment strategies to overcome hyper-responsiveness to gonadotropin stimulation.

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          Association between the number of eggs and live birth in IVF treatment: an analysis of 400 135 treatment cycles.

          While live birth is the principal clinical outcome following in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment, the number of eggs retrieved following ovarian stimulation is often used as a surrogate outcome in clinical practice and research. The aim of this study was to explore the association between egg number and live birth following IVF treatment and identify the number of eggs that would optimize the IVF outcome. Anonymized data on all IVF cycles performed in the UK from April 1991 to June 2008 were obtained from the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA). We analysed data from 400 135 IVF cycles. A logistic model was fitted to predict live birth using fractional polynomials to handle the number of eggs as a continuous independent variable. The prediction model, which was validated on a separate HFEA data set, allowed the estimation of the probability of live birth for a given number of eggs, stratified by age group. We produced a nomogram to predict the live birth rate (LBR) following IVF based on the number of eggs and the age of the female. The median number of eggs retrieved per cycle was 9 [inter-quartile range (IQR) 6-13]. The overall LBR was 21.3% per fresh IVF cycle. There was a strong association between the number of eggs and LBR; LBR rose with an increasing number of eggs up to ∼15, plateaued between 15 and 20 eggs and steadily declined beyond 20 eggs. During 2006-2007, the predicted LBR for women with 15 eggs retrieved in age groups 18-34, 35-37, 38-39 and 40 years and over was 40, 36, 27 and 16%, respectively. There was a steady increase in the LBR per egg retrieved over time since 1991. The relationship between the number of eggs and live birth, across all female age groups, suggests that the number of eggs in IVF is a robust surrogate outcome for clinical success. The results showed a non-linear relationship between the number of eggs and LBR following IVF treatment. The number of eggs to maximize the LBR is ∼15.
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            Conventional ovarian stimulation and single embryo transfer for IVF/ICSI. How many oocytes do we need to maximize cumulative live birth rates after utilization of all fresh and frozen embryos?

            What is the impact of ovarian response on cumulative live birth rates (LBR) following utilization of all fresh and frozen embryos in women undergoing their first ovarian stimulation cycle, planned to undergo single embryo transfer (SET).
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              The novel POSEIDON stratification of ‘Low prognosis patients in Assisted Reproductive Technology’ and its proposed marker of successful outcome

              In reproductive medicine little progress has been achieved regarding the clinical management of patients with a reduced ovarian reserve or poor ovarian response (POR) to stimulation with exogenous gonadotropins -a frustrating experience for clinicians as well as patients. Despite the efforts to optimize the definition of this subgroup of patients, the existing POR criteria unfortunately comprise a heterogeneous population and, importantly, do not offer any recommendations for clinical handling. Recently, the POSEIDON group ( Patient- Oriented Strategies Encompassing Individualize D Oocyte Number) proposed a new stratification of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in patients with a reduced ovarian reserve or unexpected inappropriate ovarian response to exogenous gonadotropins. In brief, four subgroups have been suggested based on quantitative and qualitative parameters, namely, i. Age and the expected aneuploidy rate; ii. Ovarian biomarkers (i.e. antral follicle count [AFC] and anti-Müllerian hormone [AMH]), and iii. Ovarian response - provided a previous stimulation cycle was performed. The new classification introduces a more nuanced picture of the “low prognosis patient” in ART, using clinically relevant criteria to guide the physician to most optimally manage this group of patients. The POSEIDON group also introduced a new measure for successful ART treatment, namely, the ability to retrieve the number of oocytes needed for the specific patient to obtain at least one euploid embryo for transfer. This feature represents a pragmatic endpoint to clinicians and enables the development of prediction models aiming to reduce the time-to-pregnancy (TTP). Consequently, the POSEIDON stratification should not be applied for retrospective analyses having live birth rate (LBR) as endpoint. Such an approach would fail as the attribution of patients to each Poseidon group is related to specific requirements and could only be made prospectively. On the other hand, any prospective approach (i.e. RCT) should be performed separately in each specific group.

                Author and article information

                Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)
                Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)
                Front. Endocrinol.
                Frontiers in Endocrinology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                17 October 2018
                : 9
                [1] 1Department of Neuroscience, Reproductive Science and Odontostomatology, University of Naples Federico II , Naples, Italy
                [2] 2Istituto per l'Endocrinologia e l'Oncologia Sperimentale Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche , Naples, Italy
                [3] 3ANDROFERT, Andrology and Human Reproduction Clinic , Campinas, Brazil
                [4] 4Unit of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro , Catanzaro, Italy
                [5] 5Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University Hospital of Copenhagen , Copenhagen, Denmark
                Author notes

                Edited by: Katja Teerds, Wageningen University, Netherlands

                Reviewed by: Livio Casarini, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy; Giuliano Marchetti Bedoschi, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

                *Correspondence: Alessandro Conforti confale@ 123456hotmail.it

                This article was submitted to Reproduction, a section of the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology

                †These authors have contributed equally to this work

                Copyright © 2018 Alviggi, Conforti, Esteves, Vallone, Venturella, Staiano, Castaldo, Andersen and De Placido.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 53, Pages: 7, Words: 5414
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                Endocrinology & Diabetes
                hypo-response,ovarian stimulation,ovulation induction,assisted reproductive technology,in vitro fertilization,follicle to oocyte index,follicle output rate,poseidon criteria


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