Impact of thyroid autoimmunity in euthyroid women on live birth rate after IUI
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
STUDY QUESTION Does thyroid autoimmunity (TAI) predict live birth rate in euthyroid women after one treatment cycle in IUI patients SUMMARY ANSWER TAI as such does not influence pregnancy outcome after IUI treatment. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY The role of TAI on pregnancy outcome in the case of IVF/ICSI is largely debated in the literature. This is the first study to address this issue in the case of IUI. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION This was a retrospective cohort study. A two-armed study design was performed: Patients anti-thyroid peroxidase (TPO)+ and patients anti-TPO-. All patients who started their first IUI cycle in our fertility center between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2014 were included. After exclusion of those patients with or being treated for thyroid dysfunction, 3143 patients were finally included in the study. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS After approval by the institutional review board we retrospectively included all patients who started their first IUI cycle in our center between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2014 with follow-up of outcome until 31 December 2015. Patients with clinical thyroid dysfunction were excluded (thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) <0.01 mIU/l; TSH >5 mIU/l) as were patients under treatment with levothyroxine or anti-thyroid drugs. These patients were then divided into two main groups: Patients anti-TPO+ and patients anti-TPO- (= control group). Live birth delivery after 25 weeks of gestation was taken as the primary endpoint of our study. As a secondary endpoint, we evaluated differences in live birth delivery after IUI according to different upper limits of preconception TSH thresholds (<2.5 and <5.0 mIU/l). Furthermore, the influence of thyroid function (TSH, free thyroxine (fT4)), anti-TPO status, age, smoking, BMI, parity, ovarian reserve (anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) and FSH), IUI indication and IUI stimulation on live birth rate was analyzed. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE Between-group comparison did not show any significant difference between the anti-TPO+ and anti-TPO- group with respect to live birth delivery-, pregnancy- or miscarriage rate with odds ratio at 1.04 (95% CI: 0.63; 1.69), 0.98 (95% CI: 0.62; 1.55) and 0.74 (95% CI: 0.23; 2.39), respectively. In addition, there were no significant differences in live birth delivery-, pregnancy- or miscarriage rate when comparing subgroups according to TSH level (TSH ≥2.5 mIU/l vs. TSH <2.5 mIU/l) with an odds ratio at 1.05 (95% CI: 0.76; 1.47), 1.04 (95% CI: 0.77; 1.41) and0.95 (95% CI: 0.47; 1.94), respectively. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION This study was powered for the primary aim, live birth rate. The limitations of this study are the absence of region-specific reference ranges for thyroid hormones and the absence of follow-up of TSH values during ART and subsequent pregnancy. Moreover, there was a time difference of 5 months between thyroid assessment and the start of stimulation. The area where the study was conducted corresponds to a mild iodine deficient area and data should be translated with caution to areas with different iodine backgrounds. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS Our findings indicate comparable pregnancy-, abortion- and delivery rates in women with and without TAI undergoing IUI. Moreover, we were unable to confirm a negative effect of TSH level above 2.5 mIU/l on live birth delivery rate. We therefore believe that advocating Levothyroxine treatment at TSH levels between 2.5 and 4 mIU/l needs to be considered with caution and requires further analysis in a prospective cohort study.