How is the pattern of androgen excess affected by etiology?

Updated: Mar 14, 2018
  • Author: Mohamed Yahya Abdel-Rahman, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

A retrospective study by Elhassan et al indicated that in women with androgen excess, the pattern of excess varies according to the etiology. The investigators found, for example, increased androstenedione levels in all cases of adrenocortical carcinoma, while all ovarian hyperthecosis cases showed increased testosterone. Androstenedione and/or testosterone increases allowed identification of all but one instance of congenital adrenal hyperplasia. In postmenopausal women, adrenocortical carcinoma was responsible for all occurrences of severe DHEAS and androstenedione excess, while adrenocortical carcinoma and ovarian hyperthecosis were equally responsible for severe testosterone excess. In premenopausal women, polycystic ovary syndrome was the primary cause of severe DHEAS excess. [24]


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