Background: In women, anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels may represent the ovarian follicular pool and could be a useful marker of ovarian reserve. The clinical application of AMH measurement has been proposed in the prediction of quantitative and qualitative aspects in assisted reproductive technologies (ART). In men AMH is secreted in both the serum and seminal fluid. Its measurement may be useful in clinical evaluation of the infertile male.
Methods: The PubMed database was systematically searched for studies published until the end of January 2009, search criteria relevant to AMH, ovarian reserve, ovarian response to gonadotrophin stimulation, spermatogenesis and azoospermia were used.
Results: AMH seems to be a better marker in predicting ovarian response to controlled ovarian stimulation than age of the patient, FSH, estradiol and inhibin B. A similar performance for AMH and antral follicular count has been reported. In clinical practice, AMH measurement may be useful in the prediction of poor response and cycle cancellation and also of hyper-response and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. In the male, the wide overlap of AMH values between controls and infertile men precludes this hormone from being a useful marker of spermatogenesis.
Conclusions: As AMH may permit the identification of both the extremes of ovarian stimulation, a possible role for its measurement may be in the individualization of treatment strategies in order to reduce the clinical risk of ART along with optimized treatment burden. It is fundamental to clarify the cost/benefit of its use in ovarian reserve testing. Regarding the role of AMH in the evaluation of infertile men, AMH as single marker of spermatogenesis does not seem to reach a satisfactory clinical utility.