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Circulating gonadotropins, estrogens, and androgens in polycystic ovarian disease

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      Abstract

      Serum gonadotropin, estrogen, and androgen levels were measured in samples obtained from 19 patients with polycystic ovarian disease (PCO) and from 10 normal women on day 2 to 4 of their menstrual cycles. In patients with PCO, the mean (±S.E.) concentration was significantly higher (P < 0.001) than the concentrations found in the normal subjects for LH (35 ± 4.6 vs. 12.7 ± 2.6 m.I.U. per milliliter), but not for FSH (10.3 ± 0.7 vs. 8.7 ± 0.9 m.I.U. per milliliter). Estrone (E1) levels (92 ± 4 vs. 52 ± 5 pg. per milliliter) were also significantly higher (P < 0.001), while estradiol (E2) concentrations (58 ± 4 vs. 63 ± 8 pg. per milliliter) were comparable. Testosterone (T) (468 ± 41 vs. 325 ± 34 pg. per milliliter, P < 0.05), androstenedione (Δ) (2,083 ± 138 vs. 1,123 ± 153 pg. per milliliter, P < 0.001), and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (3.4 ± 0.4 vs. 2.0 ± 0.37 μg per milliliter, P < 0.02) were also significantly increased over the values in normal controls. The mean dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) was elevated in the patients with PCO (11.3 ± 1.7 vs. 7.5 ± 1.2 μg per milliliter), but was not significantly different. A positive correlation was found between LH levels and both E2 and E1 concentrations in the patients with PCO. These data show a distinct profile of gonadotropin, estrogen, and androgen levels in patients with PCO.
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