Objective: The aim of the study is to investigate serum stem cell factor (SCF) concentrations as potential biomarker for oocyte retrieval efficiency in IVF patients with poor prognosis.
Methods: A pilot case-control study was performed on 30 poor and 30 normal responders that were stimulated with antagonist protocol. SCF concentrations were evaluated in samples of serum and follicular fluid obtained by all patients on the day of oocyte retrieval. At the time of oocyte retrieval, follicular fluid from at least two follicles ≥ 14 mm and two follicles < 14 mm was collected for SCF determination.
Results: We did not find any statistical difference when comparing serum and follicular fluid levels of SCF in both poor- and normal-responder patients, the same results were achieved when poor-responder patients were stratified according to the number of MII oocytes retrieved. Moreover, levels of SCF (OR 1.000, 0.994-1.006) or in follicular fluid from ovarian follicles ≥ 14 mm (OR 0.995, CI 0.989-1.001) or from ovarian follicles < 14 mm (OR 1.003, CI 0.999-1.0069), were not significantly associated with the chances of ongoing pregnancies in poor-responder patients.
Conclusion: SCF was unable to predict oocyte retrieval efficiency or the chances of reaching embryo transfer.
Keywords: Follicular fluid; In vitro fertilization (IVF); Normal responder; Poor responder; Stem Cell Factor.