Intravenous albumin does not prevent moderate-severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in high-risk IVF patients: a randomized controlled study

Bellver J, Munoz E, Ballesteros A, Soares S R, Bosch E, Simon C, Pellicer A, Remohi J,
Hum Reprod. Nov. 2003 doi: 10.1093/humrep/deg451


BACKGROUND: Intravenous albumin administration has been described for many years as a debatable, but probably useful preventive measure in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). The present study details the largest randomized controlled trial to date of albumin infusion versus no treatment in IVF patients with a high risk of developing moderate to severe OHSS. METHODS: Between March 1999 and February 2002, women undergoing IVF at the IVI Valencia with >20 retrieved oocytes were included. A total of 988 patients was initially enrolled. Immediately after oocyte retrieval, patients were allocated to two groups based on a computer randomization: the first group received 40 g human albumin; the second group received no treatment. Subjects were weighed and a blood analysis performed immediately after oocyte retrieval and again 7 days later. Women were monitored on an outpatient basis until menstruation, or until fetal heart activity was detected. Twelve subjects were excluded due to follow-up loss, leaving 976 women (377 of them oocyte donors), with 488 in each group. RESULTS: No difference was found between the two groups in terms of patient characteristics and outcome. Moderate-severe and severe-only OHSS rates were similar. The incidence of haemoconcentration and liver and renal dysfunction at 7 days after oocyte retrieval was similar in the two groups. In women who developed moderate/severe (n = 66) or only severe (n = 46) OHSS, there was no difference based on prior albumin administration between blood parameters or body weight on the day of oocyte retrieval, 7 days later, and even when comparing variation between both measurements. Moreover, the number of patients with paracentesis, hospital admissions, complications and days of OHSS until resolution did not differ. CONCLUSIONS: Albumin infusion on the day of oocyte retrieval is not a useful means of preventing the development of moderate-severe OHSS.