Association of Serum Kisspeptin Levels and Pregnancy Outcomes in Assisted Reproductive Technology
Kisspeptin, a neuropeptide produced by syncytiotrophoblast cells, has been hypothesized to regulate successful placental formation. Several studies have shown a positive correlation between maternal serum kisspeptin levels and successful pregnancy outcomes in second and third-trimester pregnancy, but trends in early pregnancy have not been well-established. In this prospective case-control study, we examine whether kisspeptin levels correlate with serum beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (bhCG), progesterone, or pregnancy outcomes at the time of pregnancy testing in cis-gendered females (n= undergoing assisted reproductive technology. Pregnancy testing occurred at an average of 33 days after the last menstrual period for non-IVF protocols and an average of 12 days after blastocyst transfer for IVF protocols. Outcome groups included: viable first-trimester pregnancy (n=18), early miscarriage (n=12), ectopic pregnancy (n=5), biochemical pregnancy (n=16), and not pregnant (n=12). Descriptive statistics including Chi-squared or Fisher’s Exact, ANOVA and Pearson’s correlation coefficient were utilized. Kisspeptin values did not show a significant difference between outcome groups. A weak positive correlation was demonstrated between kisspeptin and bhcg in biochemical and viable pregnancy but not for other outcomes. In contrast, a significant correlation between kisspeptin and measured progesterone value or exogenous progesterone, regardless of administration route, was not observed. In this study population, a single serum measurement of kisspeptin very early in pregnancy was not significantly different between pregnancy outcomes. The utility of kisspeptin as a pregnancy biomarker in the first trimester remains unclear. Additional studies are needed to further investigate the relationship between viable intrauterine pregnancy and serum kisspeptin concentration in the early first trimester and the current findings suggest that it may prove useful in combination with bHCG.
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