The role of anti-Müllerian hormone in assisted reproduction in women

  • Oybek Rustamov

    Student thesis: Unknown


    Anti-Müllerian hormone appears to play central role in regulation of oocyte recruitment and folliculogenesis. Serum AMH concentration was found to be one of the best predictors of ovarian performance in IVF treatment. Consequently many fertility centres have introduced AMH for the assessment of ovarian reserve and as a tool for formulation of ovarian stimulation strategies in IVF. However published evidence on reliability of AMH assay methods and the role of AMH-tailored individualisation of ovarian stimulation in IVF appear to be weak. Consequently, I decided to conduct a series of studies that directed towards an improvement of the scientific evidence in these areas of research. The studies on performance of Gen II AMH assay revealed the assay suffers from significant instability and provides erroneous results. Consequently, the manufacturer introduced a modification on assay method. In view of the observed issues with Gen II assay, I conducted a critical appraisal of all published research on the previous and current assay methods that reported AMH variability, assay method comparison and sample stability. The literature indicated clinically important variability between AMH measurements in repeated samples, which was reported to be more significant with Gen II assay. The studies on between-assay conversion factors derived conflicting conclusions. Correspondingly, the review of studies on sample stability revealed conflicting reports on the stability of AMH under normal storage and processing conditions, which was reported to be more significant issue in Gen II assay. In view of above findings, we concluded that AMH in serum may exhibit pre-analytical instability, which may vary with assay method. Therefore robust, international standards for the development and validation of AMH assays are required. In the analysis of determinants of ovarian reserve, I evaluated the effect of ethnicity, BMI, endometriosis, causes of infertility and reproductive surgery on AMH, AFC and FSH measurements using data on a large cohort of infertile patients. Using robust multivariable regression analysis in a large cohort of IVF cycles, I established the effect of age, AMH, AFC, diagnosis, attempt, COS protocol changes, gonadotrophin type, USOR operator, regime and initial dose of gonadotrophins on oocyte yield. Then, I examined effect of gonadotrophin dose and regime on total and mature oocyte numbers. The study found that, after adjustment for all above variables, there was no increase in oocyte yield with increasing gonadotrophin dose categories beyond the very lowest doses. This suggests that there may not be significant direct dose-response effect and consequently strict protocols for tailoring the initial dose of gonadotrophins may not necessarily optimize ovarian performance in IVF treatment. In summary, studies described in this thesis have revealed instability of Gen II assay samples and raised awareness of the pitfalls of AMH measurements. These studies have also demonstrated the effect of clinically measurable factors on ovarian reserve and provided data on the effect of AMH, other patient characteristics and treatment interventions on oocyte yield in cycles of IVF. Furthermore, a robust database and statistical models have been developed, which can be used in future studies on ovarian reserve and IVF treatment interventions.
    Date of Award1 Aug 2015
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Manchester
    SupervisorStephen Roberts (Supervisor) & Cheryl Fitzgerald (Supervisor)


    • IVF
    • Ovarian stimulation
    • FSH
    • Anti-Müllerian hormone
    • Ovarian reserve
    • AMH

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