Use of cabergoline and post-collection GnRH antagonist administration for prevention of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
The Research question: Does the addition of a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist to cabergoline treatment during the luteal phase in fresh IVF cycles triggered with a GnRH agonist, and planned for freeze-all, reduce the rate of mild and moderate ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)?
Design: Retrospective cohort study of 480 IVF patients at risk for OHSS with GnRH agonist trigger from 2011 to 2018, stratified into three groups based on treatment received: GnRH agonist trigger alone (Group 1, n = 208), GnRH agonist trigger + cabergoline (Group 2, n = 167) or GnRH agonist trigger + cabergoline + GnRH antagonist (Group 3, n = 105). Data on patient demographics, incidence, severity and symptomatology of OHSS and laboratory findings were collected.
Results: Group 1 had more free peritoneal fluid than Group 2 (28% versus 19%, P = 0.04) or Group 3 (28% versus 5%, P = 0.001). Group 1 reported abdominal discomfort and bloating more than Group 2 (33% versus 21%, P = 0.01) or Group 3 (33% versus 18%, P = 0.006). Group 1 had more electrolyte abnormalities than Group 2, who had more than Group 3. No patients developed severe OHSS. Mild and moderate OHSS rate was higher in Group 1 (38%) than Group 2 (29%, P = 0.048) or Group 3 (18%, P = 0.006) and in Group 2 than Group 3 (P = 0.046).
Conclusion: Addition of cabergoline to GnRH agonist triggering in high-risk OHSS patients, and subsequent addition of GnRH antagonist for 5 days in the luteal phase, sequentially reduces the risk of mild and moderate OHSS and improves patient comfort compared with GnRH agonist trigger alone.