Trisomic pregnancy and the oocyte pool

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We tested the hypothesis that trisomy risk is increased for women with fewer oocytes (older ovarian age) than other women of the same chronological age.


Our study compared three indicators of ovarian age—number of antral follicles, level of dimeric inhibin B, level of FSH—among women who had trisomic pregnancy losses (n=54) with those among women who had other losses (24 with other chromosomally abnormal loses, 21 with chromosomally normal losses) or who had chromosomally normal births (n=65).


Ovarian age indicators did not differ between women with trisomic spontaneous abortions and the three comparison groups. Compared with live birth controls, adjusting for chronological age, we estimate that, on average, among trisomy cases the geometric means of 1 + follicle count, inhibin B and FSH are about 7.5% higher, 16.6% higher and 5.5% lower, respectively, with all 95% confidence intervals including zero. The sample size was sufficient to detect moderate differences (0.52 standard errors of regression) between trisomy cases and live birth controls.


Although our data do not support our hypothesis, they leave open the possibility that changes in follicular development unrelated to the size of the oocyte pool influence abnormal chromosome segregation.

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