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.

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doi.org/10.1016/S0015-0282(03)00078-5, hdl.handle.net/1765/65650
Fertility and Sterility
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bancsi, L., Broekmans, F., Mol, B., Habbema, D., & te Velde, E. (2003). 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. Fertility and Sterility, 79(5), 1091–1100. doi:10.1016/S0015-0282(03)00078-5