Intravenous albumin for preventing severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: a Cochrane review.

Aboulghar M, Evers JH, Al-Inany H.

Hum Reprod

The Egyptian IVF-ET Center, Maadi, Cairo Cairo University, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility, Academisch Ziekenhuis Maastricht, The Netherlands.

BACKGROUND: The effectiveness of human albumin administration in prevention of severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) was reviewed using the Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group literature search strategy. METHODS: Only randomized controlled trials (RCT) comparing the effect of human albumin with placebo or no treatment were included in this review. Seven RCT were identified, five of which met our inclusion criteria and enrolled 378 women (193 in the albumin-treated group and 185 in the control group). Trials under consideration were evaluated for methodological quality and appropriateness for inclusion without consideration of their results. The five included trials were single-centre parallel RCT. Relevant data were extracted independently by two reviewers using the standardized data extraction sheet. Validity was assessed in terms of method of randomization, completeness of follow-up, presence or absence of crossover and co-intervention. RESULTS: There was significant reduction in severe OHSS on administration of human albumin [odds ratio (OR): 0.28; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.11-0.73]. Relative risk was 0.35 (95% CI 0.14-0.87) and absolute risk reduction was 5.5. For every 18 women at risk of severe OHSS, albumin infusion will save one more case. There was no evidence of an increase in the pregnancy rate [OR 1.09 (95% CI 0.65-1.83)]. CONCLUSIONS: This Cochrane review shows a clear benefit from administration of i.v. albumin at the time of oocyte retrieval in prevention of severe OHSS in high-risk cases. Whether the number needed to treat would justify the routine use of albumin infusion in cases at risk of severe OHSS needs to be judged by clinical decision-makers.