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The polycystic ovary post-rotterdam: a common, age-dependent finding in ovulatory women without metabolic significance

INTRODUCTION: The age-specific prevalence of polycystic ovaries (PCO), as defined by the Rotterdam criteria, among normal ovulatory women, has not yet been reported. It is also uncertain whether these women differ from their peers in the hormonal or metabolic profile. METHODS: A total of 262 ovulatory Caucasian women aged 25-45 yr, enrolled in a community-based ovarian aging study (OVA), underwent transvaginal ultrasound assessment of ovarian volume and antral follicle count (AFC) in the early follicular phase and were categorized as to whether they met the Rotterdam definition of PCO by AFC (>/=12 in one ovary) and/or by volume (>10 cm(3) for one ovary). The effect of age on prevalence of PCO was assessed. Serum hormones and metabolic measures were compared between women meeting each element of the Rotterdam criterion and those without PCO using age-adjusted linear regressions. RESULTS: The prevalence of PCO by AFC was 32% and decreased with age. Those with PCO by AFC had lower FSH; higher anti-Mullerian hormone, estrone, dehydroepiandrostenedione sulfate, and free androgen index; and slightly higher total testosterone than those without PCO. However, slightly higher body mass index and waist circumference were the only metabolic differences. Women with PCO by volume had higher anti-Mullerian hormone and free androgen index but did not differ in any other hormonal or metabolic parameter. DISCUSSION: PCO is a common, age-dependent finding among ovulatory women. These women lack the metabolic abnormalities seen in PCO syndrome. Isolated PCO in an ovulatory woman is not an indication for metabolic evaluation.

Authors: Johnstone EB; Rosen MP; Neril R; Trevithick D; Sternfeld B; Murphy R; Addauan-Andersen C; McConnell D; Pera RR; Cedars MI

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Nov;95(11):4965-72. Epub 2010 Aug 18.

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