Persistent ovarian follicles in dairy cows: A therapeutic approach

F. López-Gatius, P. Santolaria, J. Yániz, J. Rutlant, M. López-Béjar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Anestrus is common during the postpartum period in high-producing dairy cows. In a previous investigation, we were able to diagnose persistent follicles of 8 to 12 mm in anestrous cows. This report describes 2 consecutive studies. The objectives of the first were to 1) assess the association of persistent follicles with anestrus; and 2) evaluate 2 therapeutic treatments. In the second study, we compared the effectiveness of the best treatment established in Study 1 with the Ovsynch protocol. For Study 1, anestrous cows were considered to have a persistent follicle if it was possible to observe a single follicular structure > 8 mm in the absence of a corpus luteum or a cyst in 2 ultrasonographic examinations performed at an interval of 7 d. At diagnosis (Day 0), cows were assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups. Cows in Group GnRH/PGF (n=17) were treated with 100 μg GnRH im, and 25 mg PGF 2α im on Day 14. Cows in Group PRID (n=18) were fitted with a progesterone releasing intravaginal device (PRID, containing 1.55 g of progesterone) for 9 d and were given 100 μg GnRH im at the time of PRID insertion, and 25 mg PGF 2α im on Day 7. Cows in Group Control (n=18) received no treatment. The animals were inseminated at observed estrus and were monitored weekly by ultrasonography until AI or 5 weeks from diagnosis. Blood samples were also collected on a weekly basis for progesterone determination. The mean size of persistent follicles on Day 0 was 9.4 ± 0.04 mm. Progesterone levels were < 0.2 ng/mL during the first 35 d in 16 of 18 Control cows. Cows in the PRID group showed a lower persistent follicle rate (16.7% < 70.6% < 88.9%; P < 0.0001; PRID vs GnRH/PGF vs Control, respectively); a higher estrus detection rate (83.3% > 29.4% > 11.1%; P < 0.0001) and a higher pregnancy rate (27.8% > 5.9% > 0%; P = 0.02). For the second study, 145 cows with persistent follicles were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups: Cows in Group Ovsynch (n=73) were treated with 100 μg GnRH im on Day 0, 25 mg PGF 2α im on Day 7, and 100 μm GnRH im 32 h later. Cows in this group were inseminated 16 to 20 h after the second GnRH dose (Ovsynch protocol). Cows in Group PRID (n=72) were treated as those in the PRID group of Study 1, and were inseminated 56 h after PRID removal. Cows in the PRID group showed a higher ovulation rate (84.8% > 8.2%; P < 0.0001); a higher pregnancy rate (34.2% > 4.1%; P < 0.0001) and lower follicular persistence rate (22.2% < 63%; P < 0.0001) than those in Ovsynch. Our results indicate that persistent follicles affect cyclic ovarian function in lactating dairy cows. Cows with persistent follicles can be successfully synchronized and time inseminated using progesterone, GnRH and PGF2α but show a limited response to treatment with GnRH plus PGF2α © 2001 by Elsevier Science Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-659
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2001


  • Dairy cows
  • GnRH
  • Ovary
  • PGF 2α
  • Persistent follicles
  • Progesterone


Dive into the research topics of 'Persistent ovarian follicles in dairy cows: A therapeutic approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this