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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1998 Jan;83(1):99-102.

Hormonal effects of flutamide in young women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Siena, Italy.


Anovulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the direct effect of high local androgen concentrations on the ovary. Antiandrogens are substances that prevent androgens from expressing their activity on target tissues. Flutamide is a nonsteroid antiandrogen that has been found effective in hirsute patients, although its mechanism of action is unclear. Eight girls, ranging in age from 16-19 yr, with moderate to severe hirsutism and menstrual irregularities were enrolled in this study. The basal hormonal pattern showed anovulatory cycles; increased concentrations of LH, androstenedione, and testosterone; and increased LH/FSH ratio. A baseline ultrasound scan revealed polycystic ovaries in all patients. All were given 250 mg flutamide twice a day for 6 months. LH, FSH, androstenedione, testosterone, estradiol, and progesterone were evaluated before treatment, every 4 days during the third month of treatment, and on day 24 of the sixth month of treatment. Hirsutism improved, androgen levels dropped, and ovulatory cycles were restored in all subjects. Ultrasonographic examination in follicular phase showed a significant reduction in ovarian volume and ovaries of normal appearance with one dominant follicle. The most important result of the present study was that flutamide restored ovulation in anovulatory PCOS patients. This finding supports the hypothesis that flutamide reduces androgen synthesis through restoration of ovulation, although a direct block of the steroidogenic enzymes of androgen biosynthesis in ovarian thecal cells cannot be excluded.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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