Low-Dose Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Adjunct to an Antagonist Protocol in Assisted Reproductive Technology: a Randomized Trial Study
The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of adding low-dose hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), as an LH active supplement, to a GnRH antagonist protocol in patients undergoing assisted reproduction techniques. In this parallel-group randomized clinical trial, 137 infertile female outpatients aged 20 - 39 years were randomized into two groups: hCG group and non-hCG group. All patients received r-FSH (150-300 IU) and then a GnRH-antagonist, Cetrorelix (0.25 mg/day). Concomitantly with Cetrorelix, patients in the hCG group received low-dose hCG (200 IU daily), but the patients in the non-hCG group did not. 10,000 IU Urinary hCG (10,000 IU) was injected to all patients, and ICSI was performed after oocyte retrieval. The primary outcome of this study was comparing the pregnancy rates between two study groups. Other differences between two groups such as serum estradiol concentration, fertilization rate, etc. were considered as secondary outcomes. A total of 130 patients completed this trial. No significant difference was detected between pregnancy rates of the two groups (P=0.52) as well as the fertilization, implantation and ongoing pregnancy rates (P=0.11, P=0.75 and P=0.06 respectively). The only significant difference between two groups was a higher concentration of estradiol in the hCG-treated patients (P<0.05). HCG-treated patients experienced a shorter treatment duration and a lower r-FSH required dose than the non-hCG group, but none of these differences were statistically significant (P=0.19 and P=0.10, respectively). The findings of the current study did not support advantages of adding low-dose hCG to GnRH antagonist plus r-FSH protocol in an unselected population of patients. Well-designed trials with a larger sample size for specific patients' subgroups are warranted.
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