Ovarian Reserve Markers in Premature Ovarian Insufficiency: Within Different Clinical Stages and Different Etiologies

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 Mar 18:12:601752. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.601752. eCollection 2021.


Objective: To characterize the ovarian reserve indicators for premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) at different disease stages and with various etiologies.

Methods: According to different FSH levels and menstrual conditions, patients with normal ovarian reserve (NOR with 5 IU/L<FSH<10 IU/L, n=987), precursor stage of POI (pre-POI with 10 IU/L<FSH ≤ 25 IU/L, n=410), early POI (25 IU/L<FSH ≤ 40 IU/L n=147), and premature ovarian failure (POF with FSH>40 IU/L, n=454) were retrospectively screened and their records were abstracted from Reproductive Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University between 2014 and 2019. Based on the known etiologies, POI patients were subdivided into genetic, iatrogenic, autoimmune and idiopathic subsets according to the known etiologies. The phenotypic features were compared within different subgroups, and the predictive value of ovarian reserve markers was analyzed.

Results: The ovarian reserve indicators consecutively deteriorated with the progress of ovarian insufficiency, indicated as an increase of FSH and LH but decrease of AMH, inhibin B, AFC, E2 and T (P<0.01). Most of them changed significantly from NOR to pre-POI while remained relatively stable at a low level or even undetectable at early POI and POF stage. AMH showed the highest predictive value for pre-POI (AUC 0.932, 95% CI 0.918-0.945) and POI (AUC 0.944, 95% CI 0.933-0.954), and the combination of AMH and AFC was highly promising for early prediction. Additionally, significant differences existed in AMH, inhibin B and AFC among women with different etiologies of POI (P<0.05), and the genetic POI presented the worst hormone status.

Conclusions: Our study indicated a high heterogeneity of POI in both endocrine hormones and etiological phenotypes. The quantitative changes and cutoff values of AMH and AFC could provide new insights in the prediction and early diagnosis of POI.

Keywords: clinical staging; etiology; ovarian reserve; premature ovarian failure (POF); premature ovarian insufficiency (POI).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone / blood
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Inhibins / blood
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Ovarian Reserve*
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / blood*
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / diagnosis
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / genetics
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / physiopathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • inhibin B
  • Inhibins
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone