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Fertil Steril. 2010 Jun;94(1):194-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.02.056. Epub 2009 Apr 1.

High prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome in women with mild hirsutism and no other significant clinical symptoms.

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Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.



To verify the conclusions of the Endocrine Society Guidelines that patients with mild hirsutism and no other important clinical signs (menstrual irregularities, infertility, central obesity, acanthosis nigricans, rapid progression of the hirsutism, clitoromegaly) should not be further studied.


Retrospective study in patients referred because of mild hirsutism and no other clinical signs.


Department of Clinical Medicine of the University of Palermo.


One hundred fifty-two patients with mild hirsutism.


Measurement of serum testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, 17-OH-Progesterone, assessment of ovulation by measurement of progesterone in 21 to 24 days and ovarian ultrasound.


In 72 (47%) patients a diagnosis of polycyctic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) was performed. Polycyctic ovarian syndrome patients included 56 patients with the mild ovulatory form (OV-PCOS) but also 16 patients with the anovulatory form (classic PCOS). Three (2%) patients had nonclassic adrenal hyperplasia.


Because of the high prevalence of PCOS and the possibility of finding nonclassic 21-hydroxylase deficiency, patients with mild hirsutism need a diagnostic evaluation that should include 17-hydroxyprogesterone measurement plus assessment of ovulation and ovarian ultrasound.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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