A randomized single-blind controlled trial of letrozole as a low-cost IVF protocol in women with poor ovarian response: a preliminary report.Hum Reprod. 2004 Sep; 19(9):2031-5.HR
Use of letrozole, a selective inhibitor of aromatase, reduces the gonadotrophin dose required to induce follicular maturation. We evaluated whether incorporation of letrozole could be an effective low-cost IVF protocol for poor responders.
A randomized, controlled, single-blind trial was conducted in the Assisted Reproduction Unit, Institute of Reproductive Medicine, Kolkata, India. Thirty-eight women with a history of poor ovarian response to gonadotrophins were recruited. Thirteen women (Let-FSH group) received letrozole 2.5 mg daily from day 3-7, and recombinant FSH (rFSH) 75 IU/day on days 3 and 8; and 25 women (GnRH-ag-FSH group) underwent long GnRH agonist protocol and stimulated with rFSH (300-450 IU/day). Ovulation was triggered by 10,000 IU of HCG followed by IVF-embryo transfer. The main outcome measures were total dose of rFSH (IU/cycle), terminal estradiol (E2) (pg/ml), numbers of follicles, oocytes retrieved and transferable embryo, endometrial thickness (mm), and pregnancy rate.
Compared with the GnRH-ag-FSH group (2865 +/- 228 IU), the Let-FSH group (150 +/- 0 IU) received a significantly (P < 0.001) lower total dose of FSH. Except for terminal E2, which was significantly higher (P < 0.001) in the GnRH-ag-FSH group (380 +/- 46 pg/ml) than the Let-FSH group (227 +/- 45 pg/ml), the treatment outcomes in all other respects, including pregnancy rate, were statistically comparable.
Adjunctive use of letrozole may form an effective means of low-cost IVF protocol in poorly responding women.