Assessment of cells in the ascitic fluid of women with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: The clinical implications for subsequent ovarian malignancy

Ioannis Hatzipetros, Peter M. Gocze, Katalin Cziraky, Kalman Kovacs, Endre Kalman, Balint Farkas

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although some studies have reported a potential connection between ovulation induction therapy (OIT) and malignant ovarian diseases, the results have been inconclusive. In the present study, we sought to determine whether women undergoing OIT at our in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinic, especially those with severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and suspicious cytologic findings, were at risk for developing malignant ovarian tumours after treatment.Methods: Patients who underwent OIT at our IVF clinic were enrolled in this study and assessed for any evidence of malignant ovarian tumours. Patients who developed severe OHSS as a result of OIT were treated with a culdocentesis. Cells from the ascitic fluid were cytologically scored for abnormality and malignancy. Peripheral blood samples were obtained from patients with severe OHSS to determine serum levels of the tumour markers (CA-125 and HE4) that were used to calculate the Risk for Ovarian Malignancy Algorithm (ROMA) index.Results: Follow-up data were available for 1,353 of the 1,587 patients (85%) who underwent OIT at our IVF clinic between January 2006 and December 2012. Twenty-three patients (1.4%) were hospitalized with OHSS. Culdocentesis was performed 16 times in nine patients with severe OHSS (age range, 23-34 years; mean, 27.1 years). Although cytological examination of the ascitic cells of these patients suggested malignant ovarian neoplasia, over the course of the observation period, the ovarian volume gradually decreased and became normal. Subsequent cytological and histological examinations failed to find evidence of any malignant tumours in these nine patients. None of the 1,353 participants who underwent OIT developed any malignant ovarian tumours during the study period. Moreover, none of the 462 patients who were in our ovarian tumour registry were also participants in the IVF program.Conclusions: The presence of atypical cells in the ascitic fluid of women with severe OHSS does not likely indicate malignancy; therefore, radical surgical intervention is not justified. The risk of malignancy is minimal shortly after OIT. At our centre, OIT has not been associated with any cases of ovarian tumour.

Original languageEnglish
Article number91
JournalReproductive Biology and Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 12 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology

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