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The Role of Inhibins B and Antimüllerian Hormone for Diagnosis and Follow-up of Granulosa Cell Tumors
  1. Inge Geerts*,
  2. Ingnace Vergote,
  3. Patrick Neven and
  4. Jaak Billen*
  1. *Laboratory Medicine and
  2. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jaak Billen, Laboratory Medicine, University Hospitals Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium. E-mail: jaak.billen{at}


The peptide hormones inhibin and antimüllerian hormone (AMH), both produced by the granulosa cells, are potential candidates for diagnosis and follow-up of granulosa cell tumors (GCTs). The objective was to evaluate the usefulness of serum levels of inhibin B and AMH in the diagnosis and follow-up of GCT. The review summarizes and discusses the value and limitations of the laboratory tests of these hormones by investigating the performance characteristics of the serum analyses. A search in PubMed database was accomplished to find articles describing serum inhibin and/or AMH as a diagnostic test or for follow-up of GCT. The literature search included articles published between 1989 and September 2008. The sensitivity of inhibin B and AMH for diagnosing patients with a progressive disease is rather equivalent. Antimüllerian hormone is a more specific serum parameter than inhibin, because inhibin may also increase in some (mucinous) epithelial ovarian tumors. Nowadays, specific and ultrasensitive assays are commercially available as well for inhibin B as for AMH, so that early detection of GCT might be possible. For patients with elevated levels of inhibin B and/or AMH at initial diagnosis of GCT, inhibin B and/or AMH seemed to be reliable markers during follow-up for early detection of residual or recurrent disease. Elevated concentrations of these hormones predict relapse earlier than clinical symptoms, which leads to less morbidity of the patients. In conclusion, inhibin B and AMH are both useful serum markers for diagnosis and especially for follow-up of patients with a GCT. Currently, there is no evidence-based preference for inhibin B or AMH as tumor marker.

  • Inhibin
  • Antimüllerian hormone
  • Granulosa cell tumor

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