Increased serum C-reactive protein levels in normal weight women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Hippokratia 2011; 15 (4): 323-326

A. Makedos, DG. Goulis, M. Arvanitidou, G. Mintziori, A. Papanikolaou, A. Makedou, D. Panidis


Background: The clinical spectrum of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) includes components of the metabolic syndrome, such as central obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, arterial hypertension and, even, disturbances of the clotting mechanism. All these disorders are pidemiologically related to cardiovascular disease, most probably through low-grade intravascular chronic inflammation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the serum concentrations of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), a non-specific marker of low-grade inflammation and a predictive marker for cardiovascular disease, in normal weight women with (PCOS).
Patients and Methods: One hundred and eighty-eight (188) normal weight [body mass index (BMI) < 25 kg/m2] women with PCOS were included in the study. Forty-three (43) normal weight women without PCOS (normal ovulation without clinical or biochemical hyperandrogenemia) served as controls. Serum samples for luteinizing hormone, folliclestimulating hormone, prolactin, total testosterone, Ä4-androstenedione, 17á-hydroxy-progesterone, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), insulin, glucose and hsCRP were collected in early follicular phase (third to sixth day) of a menstrual cycle in the control group or during a spontaneous bleeding episode in the PCOS group.
Results: Normal weight women with PCOS had higher concentrations of serum hsCRP as compared to normal weight women without PCOS (mean ± standard error of the mean 0.55 ± 0.08 versus 0.27 ± 0.08 mg/dL, p = 0.001).
Conclusions: As normal weight women with PCOS are characterized by elevated serum concentrations of hsCRP, they have to be considered as carrying at least one marker of low-grade inflammation.