Background: Release of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by ovaries in response to HCG administration is one of the main mechanisms of ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome. Since Dopamine/dopamine receptor2 (Dp-r2) pathway activity -mediated by VEGF/ Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR- 2) signaling-, is associated with angiogenic events, dopamine agonists were used for the management of severe forms of OHSS. In order to assess the effects of Cabergoline on angiogenesis in the human endometrium, and subsequently its impacts on the implantation rate this study was conducted.
Methods: This historical cohort study was conducted based on existing data of 115 patients (20-40 years) whom underwent assisted reproductive treatment (ART) and with a high probability for developing OHSS between March 2007 and September 2008. Forty five cases received Cabergoline were compared to 70 control subjects. The statistical methods used were: Unpaired t-test for continuous variables and the chi-square test (or Fisher's exact test if required) for categorical variables.
Results: None of the patients (treatment or control group) developed OHSS. The etiologies of infertility and administration of GnRH agonist or antagonist protocols were similar in two groups (p>0.2). Number of transferred embryos and zygote intra-fallopian transfer (ZIFT) did not differ between the two groups (p≥0.06). Implantation rate in treatment (3.1%) and control (6.6%) subjects was similar (p=0.4). No significant difference was observed in fertilization rate, chemical, clinical and ongoing pregnancies between the two groups (p>0.5).
Conclusion: Cabergoline can be safely administered in ART protocols to prevent OHSS, without compromising ART outcomes.
Keywords: Cabergoline; Dopamine agonist; Implantation rate; OHSS; Ovarian Hyper stimulation Syndrome.