Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 297, Issue 6, pp 1565–1570 | Cite as

Serum levels of Pentraxin 3 differ significantly at the time of blastocyst transfer depending on implantation success: a pilot study

  • Alexander Freis
  • Kyra Von Horn
  • Tamara Göggl
  • Stephanie Hecht
  • Sabine Roesner
  • Thomas Strowitzki
  • Ariane Germeyer
Gynecologic Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine



Many approaches try to identify the underlying molecular mechanisms to detect new potential biomarkers for successful artificial reproductive therapies. One factor has been described as a possible regulator of inflammation during implantation: Pentraxin 3 (PTX3), which seems to be essential for female fertility on one hand, but whose overexpression has been described in many obstetric complications based on abnormal placentation on the other hand. Therefore, we investigated if serum levels of PTX3 at the time of embryo transfer differ between women with an ongoing pregnancy compared to those without implantation.


During in vitro fertilization cycles of 51 patients, PTX3 levels at the time of embryo transfer were compared between patients without implantation (n = 26) and those with ongoing pregnancy (n = 25) using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Statistical analysis was performed using the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test, Fisher's exact test and Student’s t test


No significant differences were found concerning possible confounders (patients age, smoking pattern, embryo quality, number of embryos transferred and prior IVF attempts). Patients without implantation presented with significantly higher serum levels of PTX3 at the time of embryo transfer compared to women who became pregnant (0.781 ± 0.074 ng/ml vs. 0.578 ± 0.055 ng/ml, p < 0.05).


PTX3 could present as a possible biomarker for ART success. The main limitation of this pilot study is its small sample size that needs validation with a larger study population.


Infertility Reproductive endocrinology Assisted reproduction Pentraxin Biomarker Implantation 



Artificial reproductive treatment


C-reactive protein


Intracytoplasmic sperm injection


In vitro fertilization


Serum amyloid P component


Pentraxin 3


Author contributions

AF: project development, analysis, data collection, manuscript writing. KH: data collection, analysis. TG: data collection. SH: data collection. SR: data collection, manuscript writing. TS: data collection, manuscript writing. AG: project development, data collection, analysis, manuscript writing.


Innovation Fund FRONTIER, University of Heidelberg.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gynecologic Endocrinology and Fertility DisordersUniversity Hospital HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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