Sonographic markers of ovarian morphology but not hirsutism indices predict serum total testosterone in women with regular menstrual cycles

We discuss how total testosterone levels were predicted by sonographic markers of ovarian morphology, not hirsutism scores; and how the predictive value of ovarian morphology for total testosterone differed by menstrual cycle status.


Heidi Vanden Brink, M.Sc., Amy D. Willis, M.Sc., Brittany Y. Jarrett, B.S., Annie W. Lin, M.Sc., Steven Soler, B.S., Siân Best, B.A., Erica L. Bender, M.S.N., Andrew K. Peppin, M.D., Kathleen M. Hoeger, M.D., Marla E. Lujan, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Volume 105, Issue 5, Pages 1322-1329



To determine whether sonographic markers of ovarian morphology or male pattern hair growth scores predict androgen levels in women with regular or irregular menstrual cycles.


Cross-sectional observational study.


Clinical research unit.


Seventy-six women of reproductive age (18–39 years) were evaluated for male-pattern hair growth (using a modified Ferriman-Gallwey scoring system), ovarian morphology (transvaginal ultrasonography), and total serum T (liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry).



Main Outcome Measure(s):

Regional and total modified Ferriman-Gallwey scores, number of follicles per follicle size category, follicle number per ovary, ovarian volume, ovarian area, stromal to ovarian area ratio, stromal echogenicity index, total T (TT), and menstrual cycle length.


Neither regional nor total modified Ferriman-Gallwey scores correlated with TT concentrations in women with regular or irregular menstrual cycles, as judged by the Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator technique. By contrast, a sonographic marker (follicle number per ovary 6–9 mm) significantly predicted TT concentrations in women with regular menstrual cycles but not in women with irregular menstrual cycles.


Sonographic markers of ovarian morphology, but not hirsutism scores, predicted TT levels. However, the predictive value of ovarian morphology for TT differed by menstrual cycle status. That sonographic markers did not predict androgen levels in a diverse cohort of women with cycle irregularity suggests the potential for distinct variations in ovarian morphology for androgenic and nonandrogenic types of cycle irregularity. Overall, our findings support that an assessment of ovarian morphology may be helpful in reflecting TT levels.

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