BACKGROUND: The antral follicle count (AFC) and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) both represent age-related follicular decline quite accurately, although long-term follow-up studies are still lacking. The best ovarian reserve test would need only a single, cycle-independent measurement to be representative. METHODS: To compare the inter-and intra-cycle stability of AFC and AMH, we used age-adjusted intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs). To measure inter-cycle stability across a number of up to four menstrual cycles, we used data, prospectively collected for the purpose of an other study, from 77 regularly cycling, infertile women aged 24-40 years. AMH and AFC values were measured on cycle day 3. To study intra-cycle variability, we used data from a prospective cohort study of 44 regularly cycling volunteers, aged 25-46 years and measured AMH and assessed the AFC (2-10 mm) every 1-3 cycle days. RESULTS: Between menstrual cycles, AFC and AMH varied between 0 and 25 follicles (median 10), and 0.3 and 27.1 ng/ml (median 4.64). The difference in age-adjusted ICC between AMH [ICC, 0.89 (95% CI, 0.84-0.94)] and AFC [ICC, 0.71 (95% CI, 0.63-0.77)] was 0.18 (95% CI, 0.12-0.27). For the intra-cycle variation, 0-43 antral follicles (median 7) were counted per volunteer. The difference in age-adjusted ICC between AMH [ICC, 0.87 (95% CI, 0.82-0.91)] and AFC [ICC, 0.69 (95% CI, 0.46-0.82)] was 0.18 (95% CI, 0.034-0.42). CONCLUSION: SSerum AMH demonstrated less individual intra-and inter-cycle variation than AFCs and may therefore be considered a more reliable and robust means of assessing ovarian reserve in subfertile women.

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Keywords Anti-Müllerian hormone, Antral follicle count, Measurement reliability, Menstrual cycle variability, Müllerian inhibiting substance
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van Disseldorp, J., Lambalk, C.B., Kwee, J., Looman, C.W.N., Eijkemans, M.J.C., Fauser, B.C.J.M., & Broekmans, F.J.M.. (2010). Comparison of inter-and intra-cycle variability of anti-Müllerian hormone and antral follicle counts. Human Reproduction, 25(1), 221–227. doi:10.1093/humrep/dep366