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J Pediatr. 2001 Jan;138(1):38-44.

Early metabolic abnormalities in adolescent girls with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

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Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Diabetes Mellitus, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.



To investigate insulin sensitivity and secretion in young adolescent girls with childhood onset polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and to identify the early metabolic derangement(s).


Twelve obese girls with PCOS (age 12.0+/-0.7 years) were compared with 10 obese nonhyperandrogenic girls (control group). The groups were matched for age, percent body fat, and abdominal fat. All subjects underwent a 3-hour hyperinsulinemic (80 mu/m(2)/min)-euglycemic clamp to determine in vivo insulin sensitivity and a 2-hour hyperglycemic clamp (225 mg/dL) to determine insulin secretion. Fasting hepatic glucose production was determined with the use of [6,6-(2)H(2)]glucose.


Fasting glucose and hepatic glucose production were comparable between the 2 groups, but fasting insulin was 2-fold higher in the PCOS group. The fasting glucose to insulin ratio was lower in the PCOS group versus the control group (1.9+/- 0.3 vs 3.1+/-0.3, P =.02). During the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, insulin sensitivity was lower in the PCOS group (1.4+/-0.2 vs 2.7+/-0.3 mg/kg/min per microu/mL, P =.002). During the hyperglycemic clamp, insulin secretion was significantly higher in the PCOS group. Insulin sensitivity correlated negatively with fasting insulin (r = -0.71, P =.0002) and positively with the fasting glucose to insulin ratio (r = 0.79, P<.0001).


Adolescent girls with PCOS have profound metabolic derangements detected early in the course of the syndrome, including (1) approximately 50% reduction in peripheral tissue insulin sensitivity, (2) evidence of hepatic insulin resistance, and (3) compensatory hyperinsulinemia. These observations may predict an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in adolescents with PCOS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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