BRCA1 mutation carriers have a lower number of mature oocytes after ovarian stimulation for IVF/PGD

I. A. P. Derks-Smeets, T. C. van Tilborg, A. van Montfoort, L. Smits, H. L. Torrance, M. Meijer-Hoogeveen, F. Broekmans, J. C. F. M. Dreesen, A. D. C. Paulussen, V. C. G. Tjan-Heijnen, I. Homminga, M. M. J. van den Berg, M. G. E. M. Ausems, M. de Rycke, C. E. M. de Die-Smulders, W. Verpoest, R. van Golde*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose The aim of this study was to determine whether BRCA1/2 mutation carriers produce fewer mature oocytes after ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization (IVF) with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), in comparison to a PGD control group.

Methods A retrospective, international, multicenter cohort study was performed on data of first PGD cycles performed between January 2006 and September 2015. Data were extracted from medical files. The study was performed in one PGD center and three affiliated IVF centers in the Netherlands and one PGD center in Belgium. Exposed couples underwent PGD because of a pathogenic BRCA1/2 mutation, controls for other monogenic conditions. Only couples treated in a long gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist-suppressive protocol, stimulated with at least 150 IU follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), were included. Women suspected to have a diminished ovarian reserve status due to chemotherapy, auto-immune disorders, or genetic conditions (other than BRCA1/2 mutations) were excluded. A total of 106 BRCA1/2 mutation carriers underwent PGD in this period, of which 43 (20 BRCA1 and 23 BRCA2 mutation carriers) met the inclusion criteria. They were compared to 174 controls selected by frequency matching.

Results Thirty-eight BRCA1/2 mutation carriers (18 BRCA1 and 20 BRCA2 mutation carriers) and 154 controls proceeded to oocyte pickup. The median number of mature oocytes was 7.0 (interquartile range (IQR) 4.0-9.0) in the BRCA group as a whole, 6.5 (IQR 4.0-8.0) in BRCA1 mutation carriers, 7.5 (IQR 5.5-9.0) in BRCA2 mutation carriers, and 8.0 (IQR 6.0-11.0) in controls. Multiple linear regression analysis with the number of mature oocytes as a dependent variable and adjustment for treatment center, female age, female body mass index (BMI), type of gonadotropin used, and the total dose of gonadotropins administered revealed a significantly lower yield of mature oocytes in the BRCA group as compared to controls (p = 0.04). This finding could be fully accounted for by the BRCA1 subgroup (BRCA1 mutation carriers versus controls p = 0.02, BRCA2 mutation carriers versus controls p = 0.50).

Conclusions Ovarian response to stimulation, expressed as the number of mature oocytes, was reduced in BRCA1 but not in BRCA2 mutation carriers. Although oocyte yield was in correspondence to a normal response in all subgroups, this finding points to a possible negative influence of the BRCA1 gene on ovarian reserve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1475-1482
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • BRCA1/2 mutations
  • Ovarian reserve
  • Mature oocytes
  • IVF
  • Preimplantation genetic diagnosis


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