Antral follicle count in the prediction of poor ovarian response and pregnancy after in vitro fertilization: a meta-analysis and comparison with basal follicle-stimulating hormone level

Fertil Steril. 2005 Feb;83(2):291-301. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2004.10.011.


Objective: To assess the predictive performance of the antral follicle count (AFC) as a test for ovarian reserve in IVF patients and to compare this performance with that of basal FSH level.

Design: Meta-analysis.

Setting: Tertiary fertility center.

Patient(s): Patients undergoing IVF.

Intervention(s): None.

Main outcome measure(s): Poor ovarian response, nonpregnancy.

Result(s): We identified 11 studies on AFC and an updated total of 32 studies on basal FSH from the literature on the basis of preset criteria. The estimated summary receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves showed AFC to perform well in the prediction of poor ovarian response. Also, prediction of poor ovarian response seemed to be more accurate with AFC compared with basal FSH. The estimated summary ROC curves for the prediction of nonpregnancy indicated a poor performance for both AFC and basal FSH.

Conclusion(s): Transvaginal ultrasonography is an easy-to-perform and noninvasive method that provides essential predictive information on ovarian responsiveness. The predictive performance of AFC toward poor response is significantly better than that of basal FSH. Therefore, AFC might be considered the test of first choice in the assessment of ovarian reserve prior to IVF.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood*
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Follicle / cytology*
  • Ovarian Follicle / diagnostic imaging*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Ultrasonography


  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone