What are androgen secreting tumors and how do they cause androgen excess?

Updated: Mar 14, 2018
  • Author: Mohamed Yahya Abdel-Rahman, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Androgen secreting tumors of the ovaries or adrenal glands are rare causes of hyperandrogenism that often mimic PCOS. Women with these tumors tend to have sudden onset of symptoms, rapid progression of hyperandrogenism and early development of frank virilization.

The most common virilizing ovarian tumors are Sertoli Leydig cell tumors and account for 0.5% of all ovarian neoplasms. [50] However, any type of ovarian tumor can present with signs of hyperandrogenism.

Androgen-secreting adrenal neoplasms are less common than ovarian neoplasms. [57] Patients with these tumors usually present with mixed picture of Cushing syndrome and virilization. [58]

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