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06-06-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

‘Empty follicle syndrome’ predicts unsuccessful subsequent IVF


Free abstract

MedWire News: Women who experience empty follicle syndrome (EFS) during an IVF cycle have a very low chance of successful subsequent IVF treatment, show the results of a Saudi Arabian study.

In addition, women who do experience EFS have a reasonably high chance of experiencing it again in future IVF cycles.

The research team investigated the significance of EFS — defined as the failure to retrieve oocytes during follicular aspiration despite multiple flushes of proven mature follicles — on the future success of IVF treatment in a group of 3,023 IVF patients, of whom 26 experienced EFS cycles.

Of those 26 EFS women, 13 underwent a further IVF treatment cycle, resulting in only two clinical pregnancies, which represented a rate of 6.25 percent per ‘started’ cycle following an EFS diagnosis.

“This might be very important information in counseling these couples about their chances of achieving pregnancy in their future cycles,” say Serdar Coskun and colleagues from the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh.

Furthermore, of the 13 EFS patients, four went on to experience EFS in their subsequent cycles, giving a future EFS risk recurrence of 31 percent among these women.

“Patients with genuine EFS should be counseled about the outcome of their future IVF cycles,” conclude Coskun et al.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy