High levels of spermine in IVF medium as a negative predictor of subsequent success of embryo transfer
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PURPOSE: Our purpose was to test the prediction that spermine levels in IVF culture supernatants measure by rapid ELISA assay correlate with subsequent success or failure to establish a pregnancy. RESULTS: Forty-nine patients undergoing gonadotropin-stimulated ovulation after LHRH analogue treatment in the current study succeeded and 57 failed. With the exception of the first 4 hr of culture, where polyamine levels were slightly (but not significantly) higher in supernatants associated with subsequent success, higher levels of polyamines were predictive of failure. CONCLUSIONS: The result in this study differs from previous data obtained with women ovulated using clomiphene where low spermine levels (assayed in an immunosuppression assay in vitro) correlated with failure to establish pregnancy, and detectable levels correlated with success. Supplementation of IVF culture medium with spermine and/or spermidine appears unlikely to improve IVF success rates, where the success rate is already very good, and may possibly do harm. The possibility that different methods of ovulation affect subsequent polyamine production in vitro by fertilized oocytes merits further study.
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