PROBLEM: The objective of this study was to determine the concentration of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and soluble intracellular adhesions molecule (sICAM‐1) in serum and follicular fluid (FF) of polycystic ovary (PCO), endometriosis and tubal factor infertility and male factor infertility patients, and to investigate the relationship between these parameters and the outcome of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
METHOD OF STUDY: The concentration of FGF and sICAM‐1 in serum and FF were determined in patients undergoing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) for ICSI therapy for various etiology of infertility and the results of cytokines concentration and ICSI outcome were compared between the groups. Twenty patients with PCO (G.I), 17 with endometriosis (G.II), 19 with tubal damage (G.III) and 19 with male factor infertility (G.IV) were enrolled in this study. Quantitative determination of levels of FGF and sICAM‐1 was performed using enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs).
RESULTS: The FGF level in serum of PCO patients (G.I) were 4.8 ± 2.3 and in FF were 104.0 ± 39.0 pg/mL. The corresponding values in the endometriosis patients group (G.II) were 5.9 ± 3.1 and 125.4 ± 74.9 pg/mL. The concentration of FGF in tubal factor infertility group (G.III) in serum was significantly higher (P = 0.009) than those observed in the PCO group (G.I) 7.4 ± 4.5 pg/mL, whereas the concentration in FF was at the same level like the other groups investigated, 128.7 ± 75.9 pg/mL. Besides, the sICAM‐1 (pg/ml) concentration in FF showed a significant difference between the groups investigated (G.I, 175.3 ± 52.8; G.II 194.4 ± 32.2; G.III 233.1 ± 54.3; and G.IV 215.1 ± 54.4 ng/mL; P = 0.003). The sICAM‐1 levels in serum were not significantly different between the groups (217.0 ± 42.9; 216.3 ± 73.6; 254.8 ± 79.6; 237.56 ± 78.4 ng/ml; P = 0.267). The fertilization rate was significantly higher in G.III (66.0 ± 23.89%) in comparison to G.II (38.8 ± 33.9%; P = 0.014) or G.IV (38.7 ± 22.7%; P = 0.012). The pregnancy rates were similar in all groups (30, 35.3 and 35.0, 38.6%, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Both, FGF and sICAM‐1 are present in serum and FF of patients undergoing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation for ICSI therapy. The FGF concentration in serum differs significantly between the groups investigated, whereas, no significant difference could be observed in the FF concentration of FGF. On the other hand, the sICAM in serum showed no significant difference between the groups, whereas, sICAM in FF demonstrated a significant difference between the patient groups investigated. On the whole, the ICSI outcome was not related to serum or FF concentrations of FGF or sICAM‐1. Therefore, the mean concentration of FGF and sICAM‐1 in serum and in FF could not be used to predict the fertilization rate in an ICSI program.