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Inhibin B

This test is used to evaluate female fertility (and more rarely, male fertility) or for the diagnosis and monitoring of certain types of ovarian tumours. Inhibin B and Inhibin A are two protein hormones produced by ovary cells in females and testicular cells in males. They suppress the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), a hormone involved in the menstrual cycle and sperm production.

Inhibin B levels on the third day of the menstrual cycle provide an indication of the ovarian reserve (potential number of egg cells that can be fertilized), a very useful piece of information for fertility clinics. Inhibin B levels can also be very high in certain sub-types of ovarian tumours (granulosa cell tumours, mucinous tumours). This test complements the information provided by the CA 125 test, another marker of ovarian tumours. Fluctuations in Inhibin B levels during the menstrual cycle can complicate the interpretation of results in premenopausal women.

Term of the Week

Hot zone

A hot zone is a section of a facility (sometimes an entire facility or even a city district) where there is a high risk of contamination by patients with an infectious disease. All individuals entering a hot zone must respect appropriate protective measures. By analogy, “cold zone” and “warm zone” are used to refer to areas where there is no infected individual or only individuals suspected of having an infection.