Correlation of ovarian reserve tests with histologically determined primordial follicle number

Fertil Steril. 2011 Jan;95(1):170-5. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.04.006. Epub 2010 Jun 1.


Objective: To investigate the relationship between clinical markers of ovarian reserve and the true ovarian reserve as determined by the ovarian primordial follicle number.

Design: Prospective investigation.

Setting: Academic medical center.

Patient(s): Forty-two healthy women (aged 26-52 years) undergoing oophorectomy for benign gynecologic indications.

Intervention(s): Transvaginal ultrasound examination for the determination of the ovarian antral follicle count (AFC) and serum measurements of clinical markers of ovarian reserve. All measurements were obtained within 2 weeks of surgery, irrespective of cycle day. Ovarian primordial follicle count was then determined using a validated fractionator/optical disector method.

Main outcome measure(s): Univariate and partial correlations between ovarian reserve markers and ovarian primordial follicle count.

Result(s): There were significant correlations between the ovarian primordial follicle count and AFC (r=0.78), anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH; r=0.72), FSH (r=-0.32), inhibin B (r=0.40), and chronological age (r=-0.80). After adjusting for age, significant correlations were identified between the ovarian primordial follicle count and AFC (r=0.53) and AMH (r=0.48).

Conclusion(s): The ovarian AFC and serum levels of AMH correlate with the ovarian primordial follicle number even after adjustment for chronological age.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone / blood
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Inhibins / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Follicle / cytology*
  • Ovarian Follicle / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ovariectomy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Ultrasonography / methods*
  • Ultrasonography / standards


  • Biomarkers
  • Inhibins
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone