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Fertil Steril. 1990 Mar;53(3):421-5.

Medical therapy for the syndrome of familial virilization, insulin resistance, and acanthosis nigricans.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


In the syndrome of familial virilization, insulin resistance, and acanthosis nigricans, the interrelationships are not understood. Twin sisters were studied, along with a lesser affected sister and mother. They manifested amenorrhea, hirsutism, masculinization, hypertension, hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and hyperprolactinemia. Medical therapy with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist plus an antiandrogen resulted in reversal of the hirsutism, yet with preservation of potential fertility. In response to luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone suppression, there was normalization of the serum androgens, but not of the hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hyperprolactinemia, hypertension, or acanthosis nigricans.


(1) This syndrome may be familial. (2) Medical therapy for the virilization is successful. (3) The hyperandrogenemia is primarily LH dependent and not primarily insulin dependent, although insulin may have an amplification effect. (4) Hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hyperprolactinemia, and the hypertension are not androgen dependent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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