INTRODUCTION: Oocyte number and quality are known to decline with age. However, fertility varies significantly even among women of the same age. Given that maternal age has been delayed in recent years, an ovarian biomarker that could reflect follicular activity with precision and accuracy is needed in reproductive medicine.
In recent years, two key methods, the concentration of serum antimüllerian hormone (AMH), which reflects the number of small antral follicles and is predictive of ovarian response, and antral follicle count (AFC) performed by ultrasonography, have emerged as preferred methods for assessing ovarian reserve.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: 49 women between 25 and 45 years old who attended our laboratory with request for AMH and transvaginal ultrasound in early follicular phase were included in the study. In all of them serum AMH was tested using an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA) on a Roche Diagnostic Cobas e801 analyzer. Transvaginal ultrasonography follicle count was performed in both ovaries by Philips affinity 70 on first days of the menstrual cycle. Statistical analysis was performed through SPSS 23 software.
RESULTS: Median and ranges of the variables are the following: AMH: 0.78 (<0.03-9.98) ng/ml and AFC: 6 (1.0-60.0) follicles. AMH and AFC were negatively associated with age (r: -0.302, p< 0.01; r: -0.267 p<0.01, respectively). AMH showed a positive correlation with AFC (r=0.567,p<0.01). We then divided the study population in two subgroups, according to age: Group 1, women <40 years old(n=28) and Group 2, women ≥40 years old (n=21).Considering AMH= 1ng/ml and AFC = 7, the cut-off value used routinely in our institution, we calculated the Kappa coefficient in each group to test the degree of agreement between these two variables, with the following results: Group 1, Kappa= 0.4510, CI 95% [0.1566 – 0.7453], p= 0.0088; Group 2, Kappa= -0.0370, CI 95% [-0.4371 – 0.3630], p=ns.
CONCLUSION: despite the positive correlation found between AMH levels and AFC in the whole group, Kappa values show that in women younger than 40 years serum AMH>1 ng/ml is a good predictor of AFC >7, but this agreement is lost in women above this age, with the cut-off values used in this study. These results must be confirmed with a larger group of women.