Levels of angiogenic markers in second-trimester maternal serum from in vitro fertilization pregnancies with oocyte donation

Angiogenic markers are not altered in in vitro fertilization pregnancy with oocyte donation despite unique secretion patterns for other second-trimester hormones, such as alpha-fetoprotein and inhibin A, in these cases.

Volume 112, Issue 6, Pages 1112–1117


Yelena Dondik, M.D., Kelly Pagidas, M.D., Elizabeth Eklund, M.S., Christina Ngo, Glenn E. Palomaki, Ph.D., Geralyn Lambert-Messerlian, Ph.D.



To determine whether differences exist in angiogenic placental growth factor (PlGF) and antiangiogenic soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (sVEGFR-1; both being early markers of placental ischemic disease) in oocyte-donation (OD) pregnancies, compared with autologous in vitro fertilization (aIVF) and spontaneous pregnancies.


Case-control study of residual second-trimester serum samples from women undergoing prenatal screening.


Academic medical center.


Fifty-seven OD pregnancies were identified. Each OD pregnancy was matched to two spontaneous pregnancies (n = 114) and one aIVF pregnancy (n = 57).



Main Outcome Measure(s)

Second-trimester serum PlGF and sVEGFR-1 levels.


sVEGFR-1, PlGF, and unconjugated E2 levels were similar among the three study groups. The ratio of sVEGFR-1 to PlGF was significantly higher in the OD group. Consistently with previous studies, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) in the OD group was significantly elevated compared with spontaneous pregnancy. Both aIVF and OD groups had greater levels of inhibin A than the spontaneous pregnancy group, and the OD group had significantly higher levels of inhibin A than the aIVF group. hCG levels were significantly elevated in aIVF compared with spontaneous pregnancy; however, levels were not different between aIVF and OD.


Second-trimester serum sVEGFR-1 and PlGF levels were not significantly altered in OD pregnancies. Our data support previous findings that OD pregnancies have uniquely increased second-trimester AFP, hCG, and inhibin A levels compared with aIVF. However, the biologic basis of these marker elevations in OD may not be related to placental angiogenesis.

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