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Anti-Müllerian hormone as a marker of ovarian reserve: What have we learned, and what should we know?

Abstract

Ovarian reserve reflects the quality and quantity of available oocytes. This reserve has become indispensable for the better understanding of reproductive potential. Measurement of the serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) level allows quantitative evaluation of ovarian reserve. It has been applied to a wide range of clinical conditions, and it is well established that the measurement of serum AMH levels is more useful than qualitative evaluation based on the menstrual cycle. AMH levels are monitored during infertility treatments; in patients undergoing medically assisted reproductive technology; and in the diagnosis of ovarian failure, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and granulosa cell tumor. It is also useful in the evaluation of iatrogenic ovarian damage. Population-based studies have indicated a potential role for serum AMH in the planning of reproductive health management. While AMH is currently the best measure of ovarian reserve, its predictive value for future live births remains controversial. Furthermore, there is a serious practical issue in the interpretation of test results, as currently available assay kits use different assay ranges and coefficients of variation due to the absence of an international reference standard. The pros and cons of the serum AMH level as a definitive measure of ovarian reserve merits further review in order to guide future research.

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Correspondence to Akira Iwase.

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Akira Iwase, Tomoko Nakamura, Satoko Osuka, Sachiko Takikawa, Maki Goto, and Fumitaka Kikkawa declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Iwase, A., Nakamura, T., Osuka, S. et al. Anti-Müllerian hormone as a marker of ovarian reserve: What have we learned, and what should we know?. Reprod Med Biol 15, 127–136 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12522-015-0227-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12522-015-0227-3

Keywords

  • Anti-Müllerian hormone
  • Female reproduction
  • Infertility
  • Menopause
  • Ovarian reserve