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Eur J Endocrinol. 2004 Mar;150(3):363-9.

High prevalence of autoimmune thyroiditis in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Author information

1
Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University of Essen, Essen, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the prevalence of autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT) in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

DESIGN:

Over a period of 30 months, 175 patients with PCOS were recruited to a prospective multicenter study to evaluate thyroid function and morphology; 168 age-matched women without PCOS were studied as a control group.

METHODS:

PCOS was defined as a- or oligomenorrhea, hyperandrogenism and exclusion of other disturbances of estrogen or androgen synthesis. All laboratory parameters were determined with automated immunoassays. Thyroid morphology was assessed by ultrasound.

RESULTS:

PCOS patients were characterized by an increased LH/FSH ratio, low progesterone, elevated testosterone and a high prevalence of hirsutism (PCOS 83%, control 3%; mean hirsutism score 12+/-5 and 3+/-2 respectively), but no differences in estrogen levels were found. Thyroid function and thyroid-specific antibody tests revealed elevated thyroperoxidase (TPO) or thyroglobulin (TG) antibodies in 14 of 168 controls (8.3%), and in 47 of 175 patients with PCOS (26.9%; P<0.001). On thyroid ultrasound, 42.3% of PCOS patients, but only 6.5% of the controls (P<0.001) had a hypoechoic tissue typical of AIT; while thyroid hormone levels were normal in all subjects, PCOS patients had a higher mean TSH level (P<0.001) and a higher incidence of TSH levels above the upper limit of normal (PCOS 10.9%, controls 1.8%; P<0.001).

CONCLUSION:

This prospective study demonstrates a threefold higher prevalence of AIT in patients with PCOS, correlated in part with an increased estrogen-to-progesterone ratio and characterized by early manifestation of the disease.

PMID:
15012623
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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