Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 300, Issue 1, pp 223–233 | Cite as

The effect of luteal GnRH antagonist on moderate and severe early ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome during in vitro fertilization treatment: a prospective cohort study

  • Cheng Zeng
  • Jing Shang
  • Ao-Ming Jin
  • Pei-Li Wu
  • Xin Li
  • Qing XueEmail author
Gynecologic Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine



Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a serious complication of assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment. However, there are limited data regarding the ability of the luteal GnRH antagonist cetrorelix to reduce the incidence of moderate and severe OHSS, and the mechanism remains unclear. Thus, we designed a study to assess the effectiveness of cetrorelix to prevent early moderate and severe OHSS in high-risk patients undergoing controlled ovarian stimulation for IVF/ICSI.


In this prospective cohort study, 105 patients with high-risk OHSS undergoing cryopreservation of all embryos were divided into two groups according to their personal choice. The cetrorelix group (n = 65) received 0.25 mg of cetrorelix by subcutaneous injection daily, from days 3 to 5 post-oocyte retrieval (POR); the control group (n = 40) received no drug. The primary outcome measures were the incidence and severity of early moderate and severe OHSS. Secondary measures included serum estradiol levels, ovarian volume, ascites volume, hematocrit values, and WBC count on days 3, 6, and 9 POR. VEGF and EGR-1 levels were assessed, and binary logistic regression analysis was applied to predict associations between clinical variables and OHSS.


Ninety-six patients were examined. The incidence of moderate and severe OHSS was significantly lower in the cetrorelix group than in the control group (18.03% and 37.14%, respectively; P = 0.037). Serum estradiol (P = 0.013), white blood cell count (P = 0.031), ascites volume (P = 0.036), EGR-1 (P = 0.025), and VEGF levels (P = 0.015) were significantly higher in the control group on day 6 POR than on day 3 POR, while no increase was observed between day 3 POR and day 6 POR in the cetrorelix group, indicating a faster regression of OHSS symptoms. Cetrorelix intervention was associated with the incidence and severity of OHSS (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.11–0.78, P = 0.014).


Cetrorelix effectively reduces the incidence of early moderate and severe OHSS in high-risk women and decreases serum VEGF levels.


GnRH antagonist Dopamine agonist OHSS VEGF IVF 


Author contributions

CZ: study design, data management and analysis, and manuscript writing/editing. JS: project development. AMJ: data analysis. PLW and XL: data collection and management. QX: study design, project development, and manuscript editing. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFC1001200).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional ethics review board of Peking University First Hospital 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 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyPeking University First HospitalBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Peking University Clinical Research Institute, Peking University Health Science CenterBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Beijing Key Laboratory of Maternal Fetal Medicine of Gestational Diabetes MellitusBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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