Human growth hormone for poor responders: a randomized placebo-controlled trial provides no evidence for improved live birth rate

Robert J. Norman*, Helen Alvino, Louise M. Hull, Ben W. Mol, Roger J. Hart, Thu Lan Kelly, Luk Rombauts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research question: Does the addition of human growth hormone (HGH) to an IVF cycle improve the live birth rate in previously documented poor responders to FSH? Design: Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial comparing HGH to placebo in maximal stimulation in an IVF cycle. The study was stopped after 4 years. Women receiving ovarian stimulation in one IVF cycle, having failed to produce more than 5 eggs in a previous cycle with more than 250 IU/day of FSH were included. Basal FSH was ≤15 IU/l, body mass index <33 kg/m2, age <41 years. HGH or placebo were added from the start of the cycle in a double-blinded manner. The primary outcome was live birth rate. Main results: The live birth rates following an IVF cycle were 9/62 (14.5%) for growth hormone and 7/51 (13.7%) for the placebo group (risk difference 0.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI] –12.1 to 13.7%; odds ratio [OR] 1.07, 95% CI 0.37–3.10). There was a greater odds of oocyte retrieval with growth hormone (OR 5.67, 95% CI 1.54–20.80) but no better chance of embryo transfer (OR 1.42, 95% CI 0.50–4.00). Birth weights were comparable. Conclusions: Planned participant numbers were not reached. It was not possible to demonstrate an increase in live birth rate from the addition of growth hormone in women with a previous poor ovarian response to IVF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-915
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive Biomedicine Online
Volume38
Issue number6
Early online date27 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Human growth hormone
  • IVF
  • Live birth
  • Poor responders
  • Randomized controlled trial

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