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  PEDIATRIC ENDOCRINOLOGY 

Minerva Pediatrica 2011 February;63(1):35-48

Copyright © 2011 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

New adolescent polycystic ovary syndrome perspectives

Alemzadeh R., Kansra A. R.

Department of Pediatrics, Section of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA


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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common but heterogeneous disorder that usually arises during puberty. This endocrine disorder is associated with chronic anovulation and hyperandrogenemia with clinical manifestation of oligomenorrhea, hirsutism and acne. While the underlying etiology of PCOS remains unknown, it is commonly associated with obesity and insulin resistance leading to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus in hyperandrogenemic phenotypes. Menstrual irregularities and insulin resistance in obese adolescents are usually indistinguishable from the clinical manifestations of PCOS and pose a diagnostic dilemma due to higher circulating androgens during puberty. Consequently, a universal consensus on the definition of hyperandrogenemia in adolescents has been elusive. Nevertheless, hyperandrogenemia, independent of obesity, in postmenarchal adolescents is associated with increased risk of cardiometabolic syndrome. Therefore, treatment strategies including lifestyle changes and/or use of insulin-sensitizers, hormone replacement and antiandrogens should be utilized in order to delay long-term cardiovascular and metabolic complications of this endocrinopathy.

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