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Etiology and pathophysiology of polycystic ovary syndrome in adolescents

Author
Robert L Rosenfield, MD
Section Editor
Mitchell E Geffner, MD
Deputy Editor
Alison G Hoppin, MD

INTRODUCTION

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) accounts for the vast majority of anovulatory symptoms and hyperandrogenism in women [1]. The diagnosis of PCOS has life-long implications, with increased risk for infertility, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes mellitus, and possibly for cardiovascular disease and endometrial carcinoma [2-5]. PCOS is diagnosed in adolescents with otherwise unexplained, persistent hyperandrogenic anovulatory symptoms that are inappropriate for age and stage of adolescence. It should be considered in any adolescent girl with a chief complaint of hirsutism, treatment-resistant acne, menstrual irregularity, acanthosis nigricans, and/or obesity. (See "Definition, clinical features and differential diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome in adolescents", section on 'Clinical features'.)

This presentation of the etiology and pathophysiology of PCOS provides the rationale for the diagnosis and management of PCOS in adolescents, which are discussed separately:

(See "Definition, clinical features and differential diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome in adolescents".)

(See "Diagnostic evaluation of polycystic ovary syndrome in adolescents".)

(See "Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome in adolescents".)

                        

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Literature review current through: Mar 2017. | This topic last updated: Mar 20, 2017.
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