Lutropin alpha, recombinant human luteinizing hormone, for the stimulation of follicular development in profoundly LH-deficient hypogonadotropic hypogonadal women: a review
Bernd Th Krause1, Ralf Ohlinger2, Annette Haase3
1Center for Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine, MVZ Uhlandstr, Berlin, Germany; 2Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Greifswald, Germany; 3Uhlandstr. 162, 10719 Berlin
Abstract: Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism is defined as a medical condition with low or undetectable gonadotropin secretion, associated with a complete arrest of follicular growth and very low estradiol. The main cause can be traced back to an irregular or absent hypothalamic GnRH secretion, whereas only a minority suffers from a pituitary disorder. The choice of treatment to reverse this situation is a pulsatile GnRH application or a direct ovarian stimulation using gonadotropin injections. The goal is to achieve a proper ovarian function in these cases for a short time to allow ovulation and chance of pregnancy. Since the pulsatile GnRH treatment lost its former importance, several gonadotropins are in use to stimulate follicular growth, such as urine-derived human menopausal gonadotropin, highly purified follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) or recombinant FSH, all with different success. The introduction of recombinant luteinizing hormone (LH) and FSH provided an opportunity to investigate the distinct influences of LH and FSH alone and in combination on follicular growth in monofollicular ovulation induction cycles, and additionally on oocyte maturation, fertilization competence of the oocyte and embryo quality in downregulated IVF patients. Whereas FSH was known to be indispensable for normal follicular growth, the role of LH remained questionable. Downregulated IVF patients with this short-term gonadotropin depletion displayed no advance in stimulation success with the use of recombinant LH. Patients with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism undergoing monofollicular stimulation for ovulation induction showed clearly a specific role and need for both hormones in normal follicular growth. Therefore, a combined stimulation with FSH and LH seems to be the best treatment choice. In the first half of the stimulation cycle the FSH dosage should exceed that of LH by 2:1, with an inverse ratio for the second half.
Keywords: hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, ovarian stimulation, ovulation induction, recombinant
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