Fertility Preservation

Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 489-493

First online:

Assessment of long term endocrine function after transplantation of frozen-thawed human ovarian tissue to the heterotopic site: 10 year longitudinal follow-up study

  • S. Samuel KimAffiliated withDivision of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of OB/GYN, University of Kansas Medical Center Email author 

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To assess the longevity of ovarian grafts in five cancer patients who underwent heterotopic autotransplantation of frozen-thawed ovarian tissue.


Five cancer survivors underwent heterotopic ovarian transplantation between 2001and 2011. Stored ovarian tissue (for 1–10 years) was rapidly thawed and transplanted into the space between the rectus sheath and the rectus muscle (8–20 cortical sections per patient). Endocrine function was assessed by monthly blood tests (FSH, LH, E2, progesterone and testosterone) and ultrasound after transplantation. The monitoring was continued until the cessation of endocrine function by consecutive blood tests (E2 < 20 pg/ml; FSH ≥ 35 IU/L).


Endocrine function was restored in all patients between 12–20 weeks after transplantation. Four patients required the second transplantation one to two years after the first transplantation. The duration of endocrine function after the second transplantation was much longer (9 months–84 months). The longest duration of endocrine function was seen in a woman who underwent ovarian transplantation in 2003 and 2004 after radiotherapy for cervical cancer. Even more than seven years after transplantation, endocrine function has not ceased (FSH 9.5, E2 108, on July 1, 2011). Of note, this patient underwent three IVF cycles in 2004 which resulted in four embryos.


Long-term endocrine function lasting for seven years can be established with heterotopic transplantation of cryobanked human ovarian tissue. Re-establishment of long-term endocrine function after ovarian transplantation will benefit young cancer survivors with premature ovarian failure.


Fertility preservation Ovarian transplantation Heterotopic transplantation Endocrine function Cancer Cryopreservation Ovarian tissue