Premature expression of the decidualization marker prolactin is associated with repeated implantation failure

Robbert P. Berkhout, Cornelis B. Lambalk, Sjoerd Repping, Geert Hamer, Sebastiaan Mastenbroek

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Repeated implantation failure (RIF) is a poorly understood reproductive pathology defined by the inability to achieve a clinical pregnancy in at least three consecutive IVF cycles. In this study, we investigated whether the onset of decidualization, marked by prolactin (PRL) expression, is associated with RIF. We performed a retrospective cohort study using endometrial biopsies from women with idiopathic subfertility, that conceived naturally during the same cycle in which the biopsy was taken (group 1; n = 15) conceived naturally within three months after the biopsy was taken (group 2; n = 20), or unsuccessfully underwent six IUI cycles and three IVF cycles with transfer of at least one high-quality embryo (group 3, RIF; n = 20). Our results demonstrated that immunohistochemical PRL-staining was present in 8/15 women from group 1 (53.3%), in 1/20 women from group 2 (5.0%), and in 11/20 women from group 3 (55.0%). Increased proliferation, analyzed by Ki67 expression, was seen in women that were pregnant during the biopsy, compared to all women combined that were not pregnant (p≤.01). In conclusion, our study demonstrates that premature expression of the decidualization marker PRL during the luteal phase is associated with RIF.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-364
Number of pages5
JournalGynecological Endocrinology
Issue number4
Early online date1 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020

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