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Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia & Metabologia

On-line version ISSN 1677-9487


MERINO, Paulina M.; CODNER, Ethel  and  CASSORLA, Fernando. A rational approach to the diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome during adolescence. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab [online]. 2011, vol.55, n.8, pp.590-598. ISSN 1677-9487.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a lifelong disorder characterized by hyperandrogenism and ovulatory dysfunction, with a wide spectrum of clinical symptoms and signs. Three different sets of diagnostic criteria have been established in order to define this disease in adult women, but there is controversy regarding the use of these criteria in adolescence. During puberty, the adult criteria for ovulatory dysfunction does not seem applicable, because an irregular menstrual pattern and a decreased ovulatory rate is a physiologic event during this period of life. Also, a higher prevalence of polycystic ovarian morphology (PCOM) may be observed during this period, so PCOM is not a useful criterion to define PCOS in young women. These findings suggest that a key factor to diagnose to PCOS during adolescence is hyperandrogenism. In addition, since PCOM is not clearly associated with hyperandrogenism during this period of life, the term "polycystic ovarian syndrome" during adolescence creates confusion and may be misleading.

Keywords : Hyperandrogenism; hirsutism; polycystic ovarian syndrome; adolescence; diagnosis; puberty; polycystic ovarian morphology; menstrual irregularities; anti-Müllerian hormone.

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