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Intrauterine administration of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) for subfertile women undergoing assisted reproduction

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, May 2016
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (72nd percentile)
  • Average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source

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Title
Intrauterine administration of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) for subfertile women undergoing assisted reproduction
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, May 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd011537.pub2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Laurentiu Craciunas, Nikolaos Tsampras, Arri Coomarasamy, Nick Raine-Fenning

Abstract

Subfertility affects 15% of couples and represents the inability to conceive naturally following 12 months of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. Assisted reproduction refers to procedures involving the in vitro handling of both human gametes and represents a key option for many subfertile couples. Most women undergoing assisted reproduction treatment will reach the stage of embryo transfer (ET) but the proportion of embryos that successfully implant following ET has remained small since the mid-1990s. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone synthesised and released by the syncytiotrophoblast and has a fundamental role in embryo implantation and the early stages of pregnancy. Intrauterine administration of synthetic or natural hCG via an ET catheter during a mock procedure around the time of ET is a novel approach that has recently been suggested to improve the outcomes of assisted reproduction. To investigate whether the intrauterine administration of hCG around the time of ET improves the clinical outcomes in subfertile women undergoing assisted reproduction. We performed a comprehensive literature search of the Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group Specialised Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, registers of ongoing trials andreference lists of all included studies and relevant reviews (from inception to 10 November 2015), in consultation with the Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group Trials Search Co-ordinator. We included all randomised controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating intrauterine administration of hCG around the time of ET in this review irrespective of language and country of origin. Two authors independently selected studies, assessed risk of bias, extracted data from studies and attempted to contact the authors where data were missing. We performed statistical analysis using Review Manager 5 in accordance with the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. We assessed evidence quality using GRADE methods. Twelve RCTs investigated the effect of intrauterine administration of hCG for 4038 subfertile women undergoing assisted reproduction. The intra-cavity hCG (IC-hCG) was administered in variable doses at different timings before the ET. The source of hCG was from the urine of pregnant women or from cell cultures using recombinant DNA technology.Most of the studies (9/12) were at high risk of bias in at least one of the seven domains assessed. Common problems were unclear reporting of study methods and lack of blinding. The main limitations in the overall quality of the evidence were high risk of bias and serious imprecision.For the analyses of live birth and clinical pregnancy, there was considerable heterogeneity (I(2) greater than 75%) and we did not undertake a meta-analysis. Exploration for the sources of heterogeneity identified two key pre-specified variables as important determinants: stage of ET (cleavage versus blastocyst stage) and dose of IC-hCG (less than 500 international units (IU) versus 500 IU or greater). We then performed meta-analysis for these analyses within the subgroups defined by stage of embryo and dose of IC-hCG.There was an increase in live birth rate in the subgroup of women having cleavage-stage ETs with an IC-hCG dose of 500 IU or greater compared to women having cleavage-stage ETs with no IC-hCG (risk ratio (RR) 1.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.32 to 1.87, three RCTs, n = 914, I(2) = 0%, moderate quality evidence). In a clinic with a live birth rate of 25% per cycle then the use of IC-hCG -500 IU or greater would be associated with a live birth rate that varies from 33% to 46%. We did not observe a significant effect on live birth in any of the other subgroups.The was an increase in clinical pregnancy rate in the subgroup of women having cleavage-stage ETs with an IC-hCG dose of 500 IU or greater compared to women having cleavage-stage ETs with no IC-hCG (RR 1.41, 95% CI 1.25 to 1.58, seven RCTs, n = 1414, I(2) = 0%, moderate quality evidence). We did not observe a significant effect on clinical pregnancy in either of the other subgroups.There was no evidence that miscarriage was influenced by intrauterine hCG administration (RR 1.09, 95% CI 0.83 to 1.43, seven RCTs, n = 3395, I(2) = 0%, very low quality evidence).Other complications reported in the included studies were ectopic pregnancy (three RCTs, n = 915, three events overall), heterotopic pregnancy (one RCT, n = 495, one event), intrauterine death (two RCTs, n = 978, 21 events) and triplets (one RCT, n = 48, three events). There was no evidence of a difference between the groups, but there were too few events to allow any conclusions to be drawn and the evidence was very low quality. The pregnancy outcome for cleavage-stage ETs using an IC-hCG dose of 500 IU or greater is promising. However, given the small size and the variable quality of the trials and the fact that the positive finding was from a subgroup analysis, the current evidence for IC-hCG treatment does not support its use in assisted reproduction cycles. A definitive large clinical trial with live birth as the primary outcome is recommended. There was no evidence that miscarriage was influenced by intrauterine hCG administration, irrespective of embryo stage at transfer or dose of IC-hCG. There were too few events to allow any conclusions to be drawn with regard to other complications.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 5 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 44 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 44 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 9 20%
Student > Master 8 18%
Researcher 5 11%
Other 5 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 4 9%
Other 10 23%
Unknown 3 7%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 23 52%
Nursing and Health Professions 4 9%
Arts and Humanities 3 7%
Social Sciences 3 7%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 2 5%
Other 5 11%
Unknown 4 9%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 5. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 15 June 2016.
All research outputs
#3,053,304
of 12,527,219 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#5,554
of 8,923 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#71,040
of 264,548 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#105
of 171 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,527,219 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 75th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 8,923 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 21.2. This one is in the 46th percentile – i.e., 46% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 264,548 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 72% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 171 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 38th percentile – i.e., 38% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.