OBJECTIVE: Accurate preoperative counseling about whether an endometriotic cystectomy has a detrimental effect on the ovarian reserve has been a considerable challenge, because studies assessing the postoperative antral follicle counts and anti-Müllerian hormone levels have reported conflicting results. Our objective was to explore the impact of endometriotic cystectomy on both the anti-Müllerian hormone levels and antral follicle counts, with focus on prospective studies in which both variables were measured for each woman concurrently (overcoming unmeasured confounding), in the same setting (overcoming surgical technique differences), and at the same 3 postoperative time points, namely early (1-6 weeks), intermediate (2-6 months) and late (9-18 months), to overcome time-sensitive changes.
DATA SOURCES: Databases of PubMed, ClinicalTrials.gov, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and EBSCO were searched between January 2000 and October 2020.
STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Only prospective cohort studies that evaluated the impact of endometriotic stripping cystectomy on anti-Müllerian hormone levels and antral follicle counts in the same women, at matching time points, and in the same setting were eligible.
STUDY APPRAISAL AND SYNTHESIS METHODS: Two authors performed the screening and data extraction independently.
RESULTS: A total of 14 prospectively designed studies were eligible for the meta-analysis and included 650 women. The included studies had a low risk of bias. The postoperative weighted mean differences in serum anti-Müllerian hormone levels dropped significantly when compared with the preoperative levels by an estimated 1.77 ng/mL (95% confidence interval, 0.77-2.77; P<.001), 1.17 ng/mL (95% confidence interval, 0.66-1.67; P<.001), and 2.13 ng/mL (95% confidence interval, 1.61-2.65; P<.001) at the early (1-6 weeks), intermediate (2-6 months), and late (9-18 months) time points, respectively. This corresponded to a mean reduction in serum anti-Müllerian hormone levels at each of the 3-time points of 44.4%, 35.1%, and 54.2%, respectively. Conversely, the postoperative weighted mean difference in the antral follicle count estimates did not change significantly at any of the 3 time points; the early antral follicle count was 0.70 (95% confidence interval, -2.71 to 3.56; P=.63), the intermediate count was -0.94 (95% confidence interval, -2.53 to 0.65; P=.25), and the late count was 2.58 (95% confidence interval, -0.43 to 5.58; P=.09). Overall, high levels of heterogeneity were encountered (I 2 ranging between 92% and 94% for the anti-Müllerian hormone levels and between 94% and 98% for the antral follicle counts at the 3 time points), which were attenuated when similar anti-Müllerian hormone assays were compared, and the meta-regression suggested that age did not contribute to heterogeneity.
CONCLUSION: Endometriotic cystectomies are associated with a significant reduction in the serum anti-Müllerian hormone levels but not in the antral follicle counts, with the detrimental effects on the anti-Müllerian hormone levels consistently detectable at the early-, intermediate-, and late-postoperative time points. In women with endometrioma, the anti-Müllerian hormone level may provide a more accurate assessment of the risk for iatrogenic depletion of the ovarian reserve.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- anti-Müllerian hormone
- antral follicle count
- endometriotic cystectomy
- ovarian reserve
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology