Affordable Access

Increased pregnancy rates after IVF/ET with intravenous immunoglobulin treatment in women with elevated circulating C56+ cells.

  • Coulam, C B
  • Goodman, C
Published Article
Early pregnancy (Online)
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2000
PMID: 11723539


Intravenous (IV) immunoglobulin (Ig) has been previously shown to increase pregnancy rates after previously failed in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryo (ET) attempts in women who are efficient embryo producers (fertilize at least 50% of oocytes retrieved and generate at least 3 embryos/cycle). Women experiencing implantation failure have a higher frequency of elevated percentage of circulating CD56+ (natural killer) cells (>12%) than fertile women (3-12%). To evaluate the effects of IVIg on pregnancy rates in women with elevated percentage of circulating CD56+ cells, 32 women who had previously failed IVF/ET (>12 embryos transferred without pregnancy) were studied. Pregnancy and live birth rates with and without IVIg were compared in the same woman. All 32 women had previously failed to conceive after at least 12 ET, were efficient embryo producers and had persistently elevated plasma concentrations of CD56+ cells. Each woman received IVIg 500mg/kg prior to ET. If serum hCG concentrations were positive for pregnancy, IVIg was continued at 500mg/kg/mo until 28 weeks gestation. Pregnancy rates with and without IVIg were 56% and 9% (P<0.0001). The rate of live birth was 38% with IVIg and 0% without IVIg (P<0.0001). IVIg enhances pregnancy and live birth rates in women with elevated circulating CD56+ cells who have a history of implantation failure. Despite technologic advances leading to enhancement of fertilization rates after in vitro fertilization (IVF) (1, 2) implantation rates after embryo transfer (ET) have not increased significantly (3) over the last 20 years (4). Implantation rates after IVF/ET are influenced by the quality of the embryos and receptivity of the endometrium (3-9). Endometrial receptivity involves both hormonal (10-13) and immunologic (14-29) factors. Among the immunologic factors that play a crucial role in successful implantation are natural killer (NK) cells (14-18). NK cells present within the decidua that express CD56(but lack CD 16) have been associated with successful implantation (14-18). A deficiency of decidual CD56+ CD16- cells (18) and an increase in circulating CD56+ cells (25, 26) have been observed in women experiencing implantation failure. Women experiencing implantation failure after IVF and multiple ET have been successfully treated with intravenous (IV) immunoglobulin (Ig) (27). IVIg reduces activation of NK cells and NK killing activity both in vitro (29) and in vivo (30-31). This reduction in activation of NK cells is essential for normal implantation to occur (14). To further define the role of IVIg for treatment of implantation failure, pregnancy and live birth rates were compared before and after IVIg treatment in women undergoing IVF/ET who had elevated levels of circulating CD56+ cells.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times