ASRM has provided a forum to review 25 important studies produced during the last 75 years. The challenge of selecting these papers is obvious given the enormous progress in our field over this time period. It is important that these papers be cited with appropriate historical context. The study by DeVet et al was noteworthy and novel as it suggested for the first time that AMH as a serum marker of ovarian aging in normo -ovulatory premenopausal women and by extrapolation that AMH could be a marker of the onset of natural menopause. However, our study (1) was noteworthy and novel as it demonstrated for the first time that serum AMH (aka MIS) was predictive of the number of eggs prior to receiving ovulation induction in women with a history of infertility attempting to conceive by ART and thus, the first "proof of concept" to employ serum AMH as a marker of female fertility. This is an important distinction as it represents research in different clinical populations within different clinical contexts with different intents. As practitioners of ART taking care of women and men with infertility is our focus and thus, the context for us investigating AMH prior to ovulation induction as a marker of egg yield in our infertile patients.
As noted on the first page of each study they were submitted to Fertility and Sterility in May of 2001 (May 1, 2001 for DeVet et al and May 11, 2001 for Seifer et al.) but accepted three weeks apart from each other. Acceptance of the study by DeVet et al was October 10, 2001. The study by Seifer et al was accepted September 19, 2001. Yet for some logistic quirk, publication dates were a month apart in February and March 2002, respectively but not in the temporal order of acceptance of publication. Nevertheless, both studies published in Fertility and Sterility were uniquely informative and lead to a rapid wave of AMH investigative studies around the globe in both an ART clinical setting and in the setting of normal physiological ovarian aging. Both important novel findings published almost simultaneously but the study by DeVet et al. offered insight into the onset of an important physiological condition (ie. menopause) while ours provided insight, into how to make IVF more effective in the treatment of infertility as a disease. Early clinical adopters began using AMH in ART in the mid-2000s and it is part of daily clinical practice today. The use of AMH in predicting menopause took a more protracted course and has recently prevailed. Both studies published in 2002 ultimately contributed to changing the mind-set, clinical perspective and practice of those in reproductive medicine going forward when approaching different ART and menopausal clinical scenarios.
Seifer DB, MacLaughlin DT, Christian BP, Feng B, Shelden RM. Early follicular serum mullerian-inhibiting substance levels are associated with ovarian response during assisted reproductive technology cycles. Fertil Steril 77:468-71, 2002.