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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Follicular flushing during oocyte retrieval in assisted reproductive techniques

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2018
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Follicular flushing during oocyte retrieval in assisted reproductive techniques
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2018
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd004634.pub3
Pubmed ID

Ektoras X Georgiou, Pedro Melo, Julie Brown, Ingrid E Granne


Follicular aspiration under transvaginal ultrasound guidance is routinely performed as part of assisted reproductive technology (ART) to retrieve oocytes for in vitro fertilisation (IVF). However, controversy as to whether follicular flushing following aspiration yields a larger number of oocytes and hence is associated with greater potential for pregnancy than aspiration only is ongoing. To assess the safety and efficacy of follicular flushing as compared with aspiration only performed in women undergoing ART. We searched the following electronic databases up to 18 July 2017: Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group (CGF) Specialised Register of Controlled Trials, the CENTRAL Register of Studies Online (CRSO), MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL). We also searched the trial registries ClinicalTrials.gov and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform to identify ongoing and registered trials up to 4 July 2017. We reviewed the reference lists of reviews and retrieved studies to identify further potentially relevant studies. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared follicular aspiration and flushing with aspiration alone in women undergoing ART using their own gametes. Primary outcomes were live birth rate and miscarriage rate per woman randomised. Two independent review authors assessed studies against the inclusion criteria, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias. A third review author was consulted if required. We contacted study authors as required. We analysed dichotomous outcomes using Mantel-Haenszel odds ratios (ORs), 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and a fixed-effect model, and we analysed continuous outcomes using mean differences (MDs) between groups presented with 95% CIs. We examined the heterogeneity of studies via the I2 statistic. We assessed the quality of evidence by using GRADE (Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) criteria. We included ten studies, with a total of 928 women. All included studies reported outcomes per woman randomised. We assessed no studies as being at low risk of bias across all domains and found that the main limitation was lack of blinding. Using the GRADE method, we determined that the quality of the evidence ranged from moderate to very low, and we identified issues arising from risk of bias, imprecision, and inconsistency.Comparing follicular flushing to aspiration alone revealed probably little or no difference in the live birth rate (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.56; three RCTs; n = 303; I2 = 30%; moderate-quality evidence). This suggests that with a live birth rate of approximately 41% with aspiration alone, the equivalent live birth rate with follicular flushing is likely to lie between 29% and 52%. None of the included studies reported on the primary outcome of miscarriage rate.Data show probably little or no difference in oocyte yield (MD -0.28 oocytes, 95% CI -0.64 to 0.09; six RCTs; n = 708; I2 = 0%; moderate-quality evidence). Very low-quality evidence suggests that the duration of oocyte retrieval was longer in the follicular flushing group than in the aspiration only group (MD 166.01 seconds, 95% CI 141.96 to 190.06; six RCTs; n = 714; I2 = 88%). We found no evidence of a difference in the total number of embryos per woman randomised (MD -0.10 embryos, 95% CI -0.34 to 0.15; two RCTs; n = 160; I2 = 58%; low-quality evidence) and no evidence of a difference in the number of embryos cryopreserved (meta-analysis not possible). Data show probably little or no difference in the clinical pregnancy rate (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.78 to 1.46; five RCTs; n = 704; I2 = 49%; moderate-quality evidence). Only two studies reported on adverse outcomes: One reported no differences in patient-reported adverse outcomes (depression, anxiety, and stress), and the other reported no differences in needle blockage, vomiting, and hypotension. No studies reported on safety. This review suggests that follicular flushing probably has little or no effect on live birth rates compared with aspiration alone. None of the included trials reported on effects of follicular aspiration and flushing on the miscarriage rate. Data suggest little or no difference between follicular flushing and aspiration alone with respect to oocyte yield, total embryo number, or number of cryopreserved embryos. In addition, follicular flushing probably makes little or no difference in the clinical pregnancy rate. Evidence was insufficient to allow any firm conclusions with respect to adverse events or safety.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 2 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 195 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 195 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 28 14%
Researcher 22 11%
Student > Bachelor 22 11%
Student > Ph. D. Student 16 8%
Other 10 5%
Other 36 18%
Unknown 61 31%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 46 24%
Nursing and Health Professions 26 13%
Psychology 12 6%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 11 6%
Computer Science 5 3%
Other 26 13%
Unknown 69 35%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. 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 19 June 2019.
All research outputs
of 15,283,645 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
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Altmetric has tracked 15,283,645 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 36th percentile – i.e., 36% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,168 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 22.9. This one is in the 15th percentile – i.e., 15% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
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