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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Feb;85(2):676-82.

Free androgen index and leptin are the most prominent endocrine predictors of ovarian response during clomiphene citrate induction of ovulation in normogonadotropic oligoamenorrheic infertility.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


We have previously demonstrated that obese hyperandrogenic amenorrheic women are less likely to ovulate after clomiphene citrate (CC) medication. The present study was designed to identify whether additional endocrine screening characteristics, all potentially involved in ovarian dysfunction in 182 normogonadotropic oligoamenorrheic infertile women, are associated with ovarian response, which may improve overall prediction of CC-resistant anovulation. Standardized endocrine screening took place before initiation of CC medication (50 mg/day; increasing doses up to 150 mg/day if required) from cycle days 3-7. Screening included serum assays for fasting insulin and glucose, insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), IGF-binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1), IGFBP-3, free IGF-I, inhibin B, leptin, and vascular endothelial growth factor. Forty-two women (22% of the total group) did not ovulate at the end of follow-up (a total number of 325 cycles were analyzed). Fasting serum insulin, insulin/glucose ratio, IGFBP-1, and leptin were all significantly different in univariate analyses (P < or = 0.02), comparing CC responders vs. nonresponders. Forward stepwise multivariate analyses in combination with factors reported earlier for prediction of patients remaining anovulatory after CC revealed a prediction model including 1) free androgen index (FAI = testosterone/sex hormone-binding globulin ratio), 2) cycle history (oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea), 3) leptin level, and 4) mean ovarian volume. These data suggest that decreased insulin sensitivity, hyperandrogenemia, and obesity, all associated with polycystic ovary syndrome, are prominent factors involved in ovarian dysfunction, preventing these ovaries from responding to stimulation by raised endogenous FSH levels due to CC medication. By using leptin instead of body mass index or waist to hip ratio, the previous model for prediction of patients remaining anovulatory after CC medication could be slightly improved (area under the curve from 0.82-0.85). This may indicate that leptin is more directly involved in ovarian dysfunction in these patients. The capability of insulin and IGFBP-1 to predict patients who remain anovulatory after CC disappears when FAI enters into the model due to a significant correlation between FAI and these endocrine parameters. This suggests that markers for insulin sensitivity (e.g. IGFBP-1 and insulin) are associated with abnormal ovarian function through its correlation with androgens, whereas leptin is directly involved in ovarian dysfunction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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