Polycystic ovary syndrome: a major metabolic disorder that may cause serious health issues

Hippokratia 1999, 3(2):51-56

D. Panidis, A. Kourtis


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by defects in primary cellular control mechanisms which are responsible for chronic anovulation and hyperandrogenism. The underlying pathogenesis of the disorder is not well understood. However, abnormalities in the hypothalamo – hypophyseal axis, decreased ability of FSH to act physiologically on the granulosa cells, defects in ovarian and adrenal steroidogenesis, as well as hyperinsulinemia due to insulin-resistance, have been noted. PCOS follicles develop to the small antral stage and do not undergo the process of selection or further follicular growth, unless stimulated by exogenous gonadotropins or elevated endogenous gonadotropins. The metabolic syndrome is an integral part polycystic ovary syndrome. In most affected women, PCOS is a metabolic disorder affecting multiple body systems that requires comprehensive and long­term evaluation and management.