The full content of Annals is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >
Reviews |

The Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Pathogenesis and Treatment

Randall Barnes; and Robert L. Rosenfield, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Grant Support: Supported in part by USPHS grants RR-00035 and HD-06308.

Requests for Reprints: Randall Barnes, MD, Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, Box 446, University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Barnes: Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, Box 446, University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637.

Dr. Rosenfield: Wyler Children's Hospital, University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue (Box 118), Chicago, IL 60637.

© 1989 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1989;110(5):386-399. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-110-5-386
Text Size: A A A

Purpose: To propose a theory for the pathogenesis of the polycystic ovary syndrome that explains the endocrinologic abnormalities of the syndrome and provides a rational approach to therapy.

Data Identification: An English-language literature search using MEDLINE (1975 to 1988) and extensive bibliographic reviews of identified articles.

Study Selection: We reviewed the literature and selected 169 articles considered most relevant for the definition of the endocrinologic abnormalities, elucidation of pathogenic mechanisms, or delineation of therapeutic interventions.

Data Extraction: The authors independently assessed study quality and data concerning endocrinologic abnormalities, pathogenic mechanisms, and therapy of the polycystic ovary syndrome.

Results of Data Synthesis: The polycystic ovary syndrome may be best defined as functional, gonadotropin-dependent ovarian hyperandrogenism. The polycystic ovary syndrome results when a primary defect increases one of three variables: the ratio of the serum concentrations of luteinizing hormone to follicle stimulating hormone, the ratio of the intraovarian concentrations of androgen to estrogen, or follicular atresia. An increase in one of these variables can then induce successive abnormalities in one or more of the remaining two variables in a to-and-fro manner.

Conclusions: Evidence suggests that several causes exist, each of which can produce the clinical syndrome by a to-and-fro interaction among pathogenic mechanisms. Treatment objectives for the syndrome include amelioration of hirsutism, induction of ovulation, and weight reduction.





Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Submit a Comment/Letter
Submit a Comment/Letter

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.


Buy Now for $42.00

to gain full access to the content and tools.

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Related Articles
Related Point of Care
PubMed Articles
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.