Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of doubling the starting dose of gonadotrophins on the ovarian response in IVF patients with a low antral follicle count (AFC). Methods: Fifty-two patients with an AFC of <5 follicles of 2-5 mm diameter before starting their first IVF cycle participated in this randomized controlled trial. They were randomized by opening a sealed envelope, receiving either 150IU (group I, n = 26) or 300IU (group II, n = 26) of rFSH as a starting dose. The main outcome measures of the study were number of oocytes, poor response (<4 oocytes at retrieval or cancellation due to insufficient follicle growth) and ongoing pregnancy (12 weeks of gestation). Results: The groups were comparable regarding patient characteristics and outcome of the IVF treatment. The median number of oocytes collected was 3 for both groups (P = 0.79). The difference in the mean number of oocytes was 0.3 oocytes in favour of group I (P = 0.69). Sixty-five per cent of the patients in group I experienced a poor response and 62% in group II. The ongoing pregnancy rate was 8% in group I and 4% in group II (P = 0.55). Conclusions: Expected poor response patients, defined as patients with an AFC <5, are likely not to benefit from a higher starting dose of gonadotrophins in IVF.

Antral follicles, Gonadotrophin dose, IVF, Poor response, Randomized study,
Human Reproduction
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Klinkert, E.R, Broekmans, F.J.M, Looman, C.W.N, Habbema, J.D.F, & te Velde, E.R. (2005). Expected poor responders on the basis of an antral follicle count do not benefit from a higher starting dose of gonadotrophins in IVF treatment: A randomized controlled trial. Human Reproduction, 20(3), 611–615. doi:10.1093/humrep/deh663