Androgen responses to adrenocorticotropic hormone infusion among individual women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Among individual women with polycystic ovary syndrome, androgen responses to adrenocorticotropic hormone infusion are variable and positively correlated with those after human chorionic gonadotropin injection.

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Volume 106, Issue 5, Pages 1252-1257

Authors:

Kevin H. Maas, M.D., Ph.D., Sandy Chuan, M.D., Evan Harrison, M.D., Heidi Cook-Andersen, M.D., Ph.D., Antoni J. Duleba, M.D., R. Jeffrey Chang, M.D.

Abstract:

Objective

To compare androgen responses during ACTH infusion among women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and healthy women.

Design

Cross-sectional study.

Setting

Academic medical center.

Patient(s)

Women with PCOS (n = 13) and healthy controls (n = 15).

Intervention(s)

Blood samples were obtained frequently during a 6-hour dose-response ACTH infusion.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Comparison of basal and stimulated levels of 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP), androgens, and cortisol (F) during ACTH infusion with those after hCG injection within individual subjects.

Result(s)

In women with PCOS increased 17-OHP, androstenedione (A), and DHEA responses during ACTH infusion were comparable to those observed in healthy controls. The magnitude of responses was highly variable among women with PCOS. Within individual women with PCOS adrenal responses to ACTH and ovarian responses to hCG were significantly correlated. Cortisol responses to ACTH were similar in women with PCOS and healthy controls.

Conclusion(s)

Within individual women with PCOS, enhanced androgen responses to ACTH are accompanied by comparable androgen responsiveness to hCG. These findings suggest that dysregulated steroidogenesis leading to hyperandrogenemia in this disorder is likely present in both adrenal and ovarian tissues.

Clinical Trial Registration Number

NCT00747617.


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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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