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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Nov;98(11):4325-8. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-2040. Epub 2013 Sep 5.

Renaming PCOS--a two-state solution.

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MD, Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 303 East Chicago Avenue, Endocrinology Tarry Building 15-745, Chicago, Illinois 60611.



It has become evident over the past 30 years that polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is more than a reproductive disorder. It has metabolic sequelae that can affect women across the lifespan. Diagnostic criteria based on the endocrine features of the syndrome, hyperandrogenism and chronic anovulation, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) criteria, identify women at high metabolic risk. The additional phenotypes defined by the Rotterdam diagnostic criteria identify women with primarily reproductive rather than metabolic dysfunction.


The aim is to discuss the rationale for a separate name for the syndrome that is associated with high metabolic risk while maintaining the current name for the phenotypes with primarily reproductive morbidity.


The NIH Office for Disease Prevention-Sponsored Evidence-Based Methodology Workshop on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome recommended that a new name is needed for PCOS. POSITIONS: The authors propose that PCOS be retained for the reproductive phenotypes and that a new name be created for the phenotypes at high metabolic risk.


There should be two names for the PCOS phenotypes: those with primarily reproductive consequences should continue to be called PCOS, and those with important metabolic consequences should have a new name.

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