Endothelial dysfunction in subfertile women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Liang Hsuan Chen, Chia Pin Lin, Hsien Ming Wu*, Po Hsien Chu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

4 Scopus citations


Research question: Is there an association between post-occlusive reactive hyperaemia (PORH) and ovarian stimulation in women with normoandrogenaemic polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)? Design: Women eligible for IVF at an academic fertility centre were invited to join this prospective study. Microvascular endothelial function was measured as PORH by laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) before and after ovarian stimulation. Metabolic characteristics, hormone profiles and biochemical markers were analysed. Results: Thirty-four normoandrogenaemic women with PCOS and 36 normoandrogenaemic women without PCOS were included. The PCOS group displayed higher C-reactive protein levels and insulin resistance (P = 0.048 and P = 0.025, respectively). No significant difference was found in microcirculatory function between the groups at baseline. After ovarian stimulation, PORH was enhanced in the control group (slope 7.1 ± 3.3 versus 9.7 ± 4.5; P = 0.007; peak flow 30.7 ± 16.3 versus 43.5 ± 17.3, P = 0.008; however, the PCOS group experienced a blunting response to supraphysiological hormone status (slope 8.2 ± 5.1 versus 7.2 ± 4.3, P = 0.212; peak flow, 38.8 ± 19.4 versus 37.0 ± 21.8, P = 0.895). Conclusions: Impaired microcirculatory function could be found using a non-invasive LDF technique in normoandrogenaemic women with PCOS undergoing IVF, indicating early changes in vascular endothelial dysfunction. Future observational studies should clarify whether PORH measurement might help predict IVF prognosis or obstetric complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-398
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Issue number2
StatePublished - 02 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Laser Doppler flowmetry
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Postocclusive reactive hyperaemia
  • Skin microcirculation
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome/metabolism
  • Prospective Studies
  • Humans
  • Hormones
  • Pregnancy
  • Microcirculation
  • Infertility/complications
  • Female


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