PROBLEM: The selectins, a group of cell adhesion molecules, are major mediators of inflammatory, immunologic, and angiogenic reactions. Their possible involvement and levels of the soluble isoform in serum and ascitic fluid of women with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) were not previously evaluated.
METHOD OF STUDY: This prospective, case-control study involved 16 women with OHSS. Ten matched women treated by controlled ovarian stimulation and eight healthy women with normal diagnostic laparoscopy served as controls. Serum and peritoneal fluid samples obtained from all subjects were assayed for soluble endothelial selectin (sES) and soluble platelet selectin (sPS) by specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS: Significantly higher levels of sES (median, 17.1 [9–41] vs 9.3 [2.4–21.3] ng/mL [P=0.03]) and sPS (median, 23 [13–277] vs 6.5 [1.6–28.7] ng/mL [P=0.001]) were observed in the peritoneal fluid of women with OHSS than the basal levels of healthy, non-stimulated women. Women with OHSS had significantly lower sES serum levels than those treated by controlled ovarian hyperstimulation without OHSS, while their sPS serum levels were comparable.
CONCLUSIONS: Asitic fluid of women with OHSS contains appreciable amounts of soluble selectins, suggesting their ovarian origin and possible involvement in the syndrome.