Absence of correlation between follicular fluid volume and follicular granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, a predictor of embryo implantation and successful delivery

Follicular granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a documented marker of embryo implantation potential. The primary objective was to determine whether follicular G-CSF levels correlate with follicular fluid volume. The secondary objectives were to assess whether follicular G-CSF is associated with oocyte maturity at the time of harvest and with delivery rate after fresh or frozen embryo transfer. Thirty-two patients undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles were recruited (Centre de Procréation Médicalement Assistée (CPMA), University of Liège, Belgium). A total of 211 follicular fluid (FF) samples were individually collected at the time of oocyte harvest. FF volume was recorded, and G-CSF concentration was assessed by ELISA. The embryos were individually cultured in vitro. Their implantation and live birth rates were recorded after fresh and frozen embryo transfers. The follicular fluid volume did not correlate with the follicular G-CSF concentration. There were no differences in follicular G-CSF levels between mature and immature oocytes. The probability of successful implantation and delivery was increased for embryos with FF containing a high G-CSF concentration. There was a trend toward lower follicular G-CSF levels in cases of miscarriage. Therefore, follicular fluid volume cannot be a substitute for follicular G-CSF as a marker of embryo implantation ability.