Prediction of in vitro fertilization outcome at different antral follicle count thresholds in a prospective cohort of 1,012 women

Fertil Steril. 2012 Sep;98(3):657-63. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.05.042. Epub 2012 Jun 29.


Objective: To estimate the probability of live birth, adverse treatment outcome, and extremes of ovarian response at different antral follicle count (AFC) cutoff levels in a large prospective cohort of women undergoing IVF treatment.

Design: Prospective study.

Setting: University-based assisted conception unit.

Patient(s): A total of 1,012 consecutive subjects of all ages undergoing their first cycle of assisted reproductive techniques.

Intervention(s): Transvaginal three-dimensional ultrasound assessment and venipuncture in the early follicular phase of the menstrual cycle.

Main outcome measure(s): Live birth rate, poor ovarian response, and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).

Result(s): Analysis was performed in 1,012 subjects. Both age (r = 0.88) and AFC (r = 0.92) thresholds show significant linear relationship with the probability of live birth, but AFC demonstrates a stronger correlation. At AFC quartiles of 3-10, 11-15, 16-22, and ≥23, the mean live birth rates were 23%, 34%, 39%, and 44%, respectively. No live birth was observed in women with AFC <4. Antral follicle count was predictive of ovarian response, with a 67% likelihood of poor ovarian response for AFC ≤4. Although the risk of moderate or severe OHSS is 2.2% with AFC of ≤24, the risk increases to 8.6% at AFC of ≥24. The risk of OHSS increases further to 11% if there are signs and symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome.

Conclusion(s): Although age and AFC are significantly correlated with live birth, AFC demonstrates a stronger correlation. Antral follicle count thresholds are useful to predict live birth rates and risks of poor ovarian response and OHSS during IVF treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Rate
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Follicle / cytology*
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prospective Studies