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A Journal on Endocrine System Diseases

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Minerva Endocrinologica 2004 March;29(1):25-30

language: Italian

Severe postmenopausal hyperandrogenism due to an ovarian lipoid cell tumor: a case report

Bernasconi D., Del Monte P., Marinaro E., Marugo A., Marugo M.


The case of a 62-year-old woman with severe post-menopausal hirsutism is described. Her clinical history revealed regular menstrual periods until menopause at the age of 50, hysterectomy for fibromatosis at 58 years, non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, hypertension, obesity, severe hirsutism, which had developed in the previous 3 years, with a deeping of the voice. Examination showed android obesity, hypertension and severe hirsutism involving the face and the trunk. Endocrine evaluation pointed out regular adrenal function, serum total and free-testosterone in the adult male range, with normal androstenedione, DHEAS and 17OHP levels. Estradiol was slightly increased and LH and FSH were inappropriately low for her post-menopausal age. Computed tomography of the abdomen showed regular adrenal glands, and a radio-labeled cholesterol scan was negative. A further pelvic transvaginal ultrasonography revealed a small cystic formation near the right ovary and a slight increase in the size of the left ovary. The patient underwent bilateral ovariectomy. Histological examination showed a lipoid cell tumor within the left ovary. Immunohistochemical studies were positive for inhibin and cytokeratin. After surgery, serum testosterone fell to normal levels, gonadotropins increased to menopausal levels, confirming that the tumor was able to produce both LH, and FSH-inhibiting factors, and hirsutism greatly improved. Periodic hormonal tests remained normal and CT of the abdomen and pelvic ultrasonography did not show alterations at a 3 years follow-up.

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