Recombinant luteinizing hormone supplementation in assisted reproductive technology: a systematic review

Fertil Steril. 2018 Apr;109(4):644-664. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2018.01.003.


Objective: To assess the role of recombinant human LH (r-hLH) supplementation in ovarian stimulation for ART in specific subgroups of patients.

Design: Systematic review.

Setting: Centers for reproductive care.

Patient(s): Six populations were investigated: 1) women with a hyporesponse to recombinant human FSH (r-hFSH) monotherapy; 2) women at an advanced reproductive age; 3) women cotreated with the use of a GnRH antagonist; 4) women with profoundly suppressed LH levels after the administration of GnRH agonists; 5) normoresponder women to prevent ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome; and 6) women with a "poor response" to ovarian stimulation, including those who met the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology Bologna criteria.

Intervention(s): Systematic review.

Main outcome measure(s): Implantation rate, number of oocytes retrieved, live birth rate, ongoing pregnancy rate, fertilization rate, and number of metaphase II oocytes.

Result(s): Recombinant hLH supplementation appears to be beneficial in two subgroups of patients: 1) women with adequate prestimulation ovarian reserve parameters and an unexpected hyporesponse to r-hFSH monotherapy; and 2) women 36-39 years of age. Indeed, there is no evidence that r-hLH is beneficial in young (<35 y) normoresponders cotreated with the use of a GnRH antagonist. The use of r-hLH supplementation in women with suppressed endogenous LH levels caused by GnRH analogues and in poor responders remains controversial, whereas the use of r-hLH supplementation to prevent the development of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome warrants further investigation.

Conclusion(s): Recombinant hLH can be proposed for hyporesponders and women 36-39 years of age.

Keywords: ART; IVF/ICSI; Luteinizing hormone (LH); ovarian stimulation; recombinant LH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Embryo Transfer
  • Female
  • Fertility Agents, Female / administration & dosage*
  • Fertility Agents, Female / adverse effects
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Humans
  • Infertility / diagnosis
  • Infertility / physiopathology
  • Infertility / therapy*
  • Live Birth
  • Luteinizing Hormone / administration & dosage*
  • Luteinizing Hormone / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Oocyte Retrieval
  • Ovulation / drug effects*
  • Ovulation Induction / adverse effects
  • Ovulation Induction / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Recombinant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fertility Agents, Female
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Luteinizing Hormone