No-268-The Diagnosis and Management of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome



      To review the clinical aspects of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and provide recommendations on its diagnosis and clinical management.


      These guidelines will assist in the early recognition and management of ovarian hyperstimulation. Early recognition and prompt systematic supportive care will help avert poor outcomes.


      Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane database were searched for relevant articles, using the key words “ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome” and “gonadotropins,” and guidelines created by other professional societies were reviewed.


      The quality of evidence was rated using the criteria described in the Report of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care. Recommendations for practice were ranked according to the method described in that report.


      • 1.
        Once the diagnosis of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is made, disease severity should be classified as mild, moderate, severe, or critical (III-B).
      • 2.
        The physician prescribing gonadotropins should inform each woman of her personal risk for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (III-A).
      • 3.
        In areas where patients do not have ready access to physicians familiar with the diagnosis and management of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, the physician prescribing gonadotropins should ensure that women are made aware that they should contact a physician or a member of the team within the hospital unit who has relevant experience, should the need arise (III-B).
      • 4.
        Outpatient management is recommended for women with mild and moderate ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. If outpatient management for more severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is to be undertaken, the physician should ensure that the woman is capable of adhering to clinical instructions and that there is a system in place to assess her status every 1 to 2 days (III-A).
      • 5.
        Paracentesis should be performed in admitted patients with tense ascites to alleviate their discomfort (II-2B).
      • 6.
        Outpatient culdocentesis should be considered for the prevention of disease progression in moderate or severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (II-2B).
      • 7.
        Women with severe and critical ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome should be admitted to hospital for intravenous hydration and observation (III-A).
      • 8.
        Intravenous hydration should be initiated with a crystalloid solution to prevent hemoconcentration and provide adequate end-organ perfusion. If end-organ perfusion is not maintained with a crystalloid solution, an alternate colloid solution should be administered (II-2B).
      • 9.
        Pain relief in admitted patients should be managed with acetaminophen and/or opioid analgesics (III-B). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with antiplatelet properties should not be used (III-B).
      • 10.
        Women with severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome should be considered for treatment with prophylactic doses of anticoagulants (II-2B).
      • 11.
        Critical ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome should be managed by a multidisciplinary team, according to the end organ affected (III-C).

      Key Words


      OHSS (Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome), VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor)
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