The aim of this study was to examine the role of serum and follicular fluid pro-inflammatory cytokines and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the prediction of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). A total of 156 consecutive women undergoing in-vitro fertilization were recruited. The study group comprised 12 women who subsequently developed moderate (n = 7) or severe (n = 5) OHSS. The two control groups were comprised of a randomized selection of 12 high-risk and 12 low-risk women in whom OHSS did not develop. Serum was collected on days of human chorionic gonadotrophin, oocyte retrieval, and embryo transfer. Serum and follicular fluid concentrations of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and VEGF were measured. Follicular fluid IL-6 concentrations at the time of oocyte retrieval and serum IL-8 concentrations at the time of embryo transfer were significantly higher in the OHSS compared to the two control groups (P = 0.026 and P = 0.017 respectively). Serum concentrations of TNF-α and VEGF showed no statistically significant difference between the OHSS group and the controls at any studied time point. This study suggests that follicular fluid IL-6 concentrations at the time of oocyte retrieval and serum IL-8 concentrations on the day of embryo transfer may serve as early predictors for this syndrome.
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