Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS): grade 5

Case contributed by Dr René Pfleger


Abdominal bloating.

Patient Data

Age: 33
Gender: Female

Symmetric enlargement of both ovaries (> 12 cm in size), containing cysts of varying size in a spoke wheel pattern. Intense ovarian blood-flow on Doppler US (not shown) without evidence of ovarian torsion.

Free peritoneal fluid as simple fluid, including perihepatic and perisplenic location.

Right greater than left bilateral pleural effusions.

Background history:

Ovulation induction. In vitro fertilization nine days prior to admittance. 
Clinical findings include abdominal distortion and dyspnea. No fevers. No focal abdominal tenderness.
Blood samples reveal moderate leukocytosis, further details temporarily withheld.

Right thoracocentesis was performed and revealed serous hydrothorax.

Hgb 10,2 mmol/l and Hematocrit 0,50.

Normal kidney function. Hypoalbuminemia.

Case Discussion

Example of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) 9 days after IVF.

Associated ascites, symptomatic pleural effusions and hemoconcentration, severe OHSS grade 5,  but no evidence of acute kidney failure.

Rapid symptom relief after right thoracentesis and subsequent general improvement.

There is no specific treatment for OHSS and as such therapy is mainly supportive. OHSS is self-limiting in its course and syndrome severeness typically parallels serum bHCG levels. However fatal outcome has been reported 1-3.

Awareness of the entity and possible findings by the radiologist is crucial, as OHSS can range from mild to potentially devastating with pulmonary edema, hydrothorax, arterial and venous embolism, tamponading pericardial effusions and myocardial ischemia inter alia. Prompt recognition and supportive therapy can prove life-saving.

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 29070
Published: 1st May 2014
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Gynaecology
Tag: ivf
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.