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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1992 Apr;74(4):836-41.

Longitudinal evaluation of the different gonadotropin pulsatile patterns in anovulatory cycles of young girls.

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Institute of Reproductive Physiology and Pathology, University of Bologna, Italy.


We studied 13 adolescents (mean gynecological age 29.2 +/- 14.1 months) with anovulatory cycles and 7 women with ovulatory cycles (mean gynecological age 33.1 +/- 15.3 months) as a control group. Adolescents with anovulatory cycles were grouped on the basis of mean plasma LH values: group 1 (n = 7) with high LH values, and group 2 (n = 6) with normal LH values. In all women plasma gonadotropin concentrations were measured at 10-min intervals for 8 h on day 4 of the cycle. Pulsatile gonadotropin secretion was also studied in each subject a second time 40 months later, to establish the outcome of the different pulsatile patterns. Group 1 had more frequent and greater LH pulses than the other two groups (which were similar) and had the highest plasma 17 beta estradiol, testosterone, androstenedione, and 17 hydroxyprogesterone concentrations. Longitudinal control showed that: in group 1, three subjects out of seven acquired ovulatory cycles and there was a fall in mean LH plasma levels (30 +/- 5 vs. 9 +/- 4 IU/L; P less than 0.01), number of pulses (8.3 +/- 1.5 vs. 5 +/- 0; P less than 0.025), mean amplitude (13 +/- 3 vs. 5 +/- 2 IU/L; P less than 0.02) and an increase in interpulse interval (56 +/- 10 vs. 91 +/- 6 min; P less than 0.01). In four subjects anovulatory cycles persisted and the LH pulsatile profile remained unchanged. In group 2, five subjects out of six acquired ovulatory cycles, but there were no significant changes in the number of pulses (6 +/- 1 vs. 6 +/- 2; P = NS), interpulse interval (97 +/- 30 vs. 85 +/- 30 min; P = NS), or amplitude (5 +/- 2 vs. 4 +/- 2 IU/L; P = NS). The results indicate that: 1) anovulatory young women with early normal plasma LH values have an adequate GnRh pulsatile pattern which will easily lead to ovulation; 2) anovulatory young women with high LH plasma values may have a reproductive system blocked in a pathological condition, similar to that observed in polycystic ovary syndrome; 3) only few subjects with high plasma LH values are able to achieve ovulation and normalize LH pulsatile pattern as a consequence of a new mode of GnRh release.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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