This study was undertaken to determine the concentrations of fibroblast growth factor (FGF), stem cell factor (SCF) and soluble intracellular adhesion molecule (sICAM) in serum and follicular fluid (FF) of patients who became pregnant (G.I) and those who did not (G.II) after controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) therapy and to find out whether any relationship could exist between cytokine concentration in serum, FF on the day of oocytes retrieval and ICSI outcome.

Serum and FF was collected from 75 consecutive patients undergoing COH for ICSI therapy after pituitary down regulation with GnRHa. Three ampules (225 IU) of (hMG) were administered daily from day 3–7 of the cycle. 10.000 IU HCG was given i.m. Follicular aspiration was performed 35–36 hr after HCG injection. These cytokines were measured with ELISA assay kits. The cytokine levels in the serum of (G.I) were 8.5 + 10.5 pg/mL, 235.8 + 81.10 ng/mL and 597.7 + 139.9 pg/mL and the corresponding concentrations of (G.II) were (6.4 + 3.6, 230.6 + 66.5 and 569.6 + 91.4, respectively). There was no significant difference between the cytokines concentration in serum and FF in the groups. However, in both groups, the concentration of FGF and SCF in FF was significantly higher (P = 0.0001 and P = 0.05) than the value observed in serum. Whereas, the sICAM concentration was significantly higher of serum in comparison to FF value. The two groups did not differ significantly for the total number of gonadotropin ampoules administered, oestradiol concentration on the day of HCG injection, number of retrieved oocytes, and fertilization rate. In conclusion: Group I (the 25 women who did become pregnant) and group II (the 50 women who did not become pregnant) did not differ significantly for any of these cytokines concentrations. Besides, the ICSI outcome was not related to serum or follicular fluid concentrations of FGF, sICAM and SCF concentrations.