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Date: 24 May 2012

Effect of hCG priming on embryonic development of immature oocytes collected from unstimulated women with polycystic ovarian syndrome



The effect of hCG priming on oocyte maturation and subsequently outcome in IVM cycles has remained a debated issue. A randomized controlled study was performed to investigate whether or not hCG priming prior to oocyte aspiration can improve the developmental competence of immature oocytes from unstimulated ovaries in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).


Eighty two patients with PCOS underwent IVM cycles. Each patient was randomly assigned to the hCG-primed (10,000 IU) or non-primed groups 36–38 hours before oocyte retrieval depending on the computerized random table. After the oocytes had in vitro matured, fertilization, culture and embryo transfer were performed.


The average number of cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) recovered was 13.80 and 14.35 in the hCG-primed and non-primed groups, respectively (p > 0.05). The maturation rate of COCs was significantly improved in the hCG-primed group (55.43% vs. 42.29%; p < 0.05). The fertilization and cleavage rates were comparable between the groups. The hCG-primed and non-primed groups did not differ with respect to the clinical pregnancy (37.50% vs. 50.00%), live birth (22.50% vs. 30.95%), and implantation rates (32.86% vs. 32.56%). The pregnancy losses was 6 (40.00%) of 15 clinical pregnancies in the hCG-primed group, and 8 (38.10%) of 21 clinical pregnancies in the non-primed group.


While a significant improvement in the nuclear maturation rate of immature oocytes was observed in hCG-primed IVM cycles with PCOS patients, the use of hCG prior to oocyte retrieval did not improve the subsequent embryo developmental competence. The high rate of pregnancy loss in IVM cycles should receive more attention.