In a randomized multicenter study, the efficacies of two different GnRH agonists were compared with that of hCG for triggering final stages of oocyte maturation after ovarian hyperstimulation for in vitro fertilization. Ovarian stimulation was conducted by recombinant FSH (Puregon), and the GnRH antagonist ganirelix (Orgalutran) was coadministered for the prevention of a premature LH rise. Luteal support was provided by daily progestin administration. Frequent blood sampling was performed at midcycle in the first 47 eligible subjects included in the current study, who were randomized for a single dose of 0.2 mg triptorelin (n = 17), 0.5 mg leuprorelin (n = 15), or 10,000 IU hCG (n = 15). Serum concentrations of LH, FSH, E2, and progesterone (P) were assessed at variable intervals. LH peaked at 4 h after both triptorelin and leuprorelin administration, with median LH levels of 130 and 107 IU/liter (P < 0.001), respectively. LH levels returned to baseline after 24 h. Subjects receiving hCG showed peak levels of 240 IU/liter hCG 24 h after administration. A rise in FSH to 19 IU/liter (P < 0.001) was noted in both GnRH agonist groups 8 h after injection. Within 24 h the areas under the curve for LH and FSH were significantly higher (P < 0.001) in both GnRH agonist groups compared with that for hCG. E2 and P levels were similar for all groups up to the day of oocyte retrieval. Luteal phase areas under the curve for P and E2 were significantly elevated (P < 0.001) in the hCG group. The mean (+/-SD) numbers of oocytes retrieved were 9.8 +/- 5.4, 8.7 +/- 4.5, and 8.3 +/- 3.3; the percentages of metaphase II oocytes were 72%, 85%, and 86%; and fertilization rates were 61%, 62%, and 56% in the triptorelin, leuprorelin, and hCG group, respectively (P = NS for all three comparisons). These findings support the effective induction of final oocyte maturation in both GnRH agonist groups. In summary, after treatment with the GnRH antagonist ganirelix for the prevention of premature LH surges, triggering of final stages of oocyte maturation can be induced effectively by a single bolus injection of GnRH agonist, as demonstrated by the induced endogenous LH and FSH surge and the quality and fertilization rate of recovered oocytes. Moreover, corpus luteum formation is induced by GnRH agonists with luteal phase steroid levels closer to the physiological range compared with hCG. This more physiological approach for inducing oocyte maturation may represent a successful and safer alternative for in vitro fertilization patients undergoing ovarian hyperstimulation.

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Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Fauser, B., de Jong, D., Olivennes, F., Wramsby, H., Tay, C., Itskovitz-Eldor, J., & van Hooren, H. G. (2002). Endocrine profiles after triggering of final oocyte maturation with GnRH agonist after cotreatment with the GnRH antagonist ganirelix during ovarian hyperstimulation for in vitro fertilization. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Retrieved from