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Hum Fertil (Camb). 2011 Dec;14(4):261-5. doi: 10.3109/14647273.2011.632058.

Full investigation of patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) presenting to four different clinical specialties reveals significant differences and undiagnosed morbidity.

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The Leeds Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Seacroft Hospital, Leeds, UK.



This study aimed to compare the spectrum of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) symptoms in patients from four different specialist clinics.


A prospective cross-sectional observational study.


The study was conducted at the infertility, gynaecology, endocrine and dermatology clinics at Leeds General Infirmary, U.K.


Seventy women presenting with features of PCOS: 20 from infertility, 17 from gynaecology, 17 from dermatology and 16 from endocrine clinics.


Participants were assessed for symptoms and signs of PCOS and underwent a full endocrine and metabolic profile and a pelvic ultrasound scan.


All subjects had experienced menstrual problems, 81% were overweight, 86% had polycystic ovaries on ultrasound, 56% had hirsutism, 53% had acne, 23% had acanthosis nigricans, 16% had alopecia and 38% had previously undiagnosed impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or diabetes. A significant difference between the four clinic groups existed with regard to menstrual patterns (pā€‰=ā€‰0.0234), frequency distribution of presenting symptoms and the percentages of patients with PCOS who had already been diagnosed as having PCOS (pā€‰=ā€‰0.0088).


This study emphasizes the importance of understanding the full spectrum of PCOS as presented to different specialty clinics. Not only is the syndrome under diagnosed but also are the significant associated morbidities such as IGT and type 2 diabetes. Different specialists need to appreciate the spectrum of health problems for women with PCOS that may extend beyond the specific symptoms that precipitated the initial referral.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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