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Djuro Macut, Ivana Božić-Antić, Jelica Bjekić-Macut and Konstantinos Tziomalos

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a frequent endocrine disease in women, with a number of metabolic and reproductive consequences. Obesity, insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes are prominent metabolic characteristics of PCOS and common factors affecting liver function and generating nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Multiple genes involved in the synthesis of androgens, cytokines and IR, as well as acquired factors, such as endocrine disruptors, could associate the etiopathogenesis of PCOS and NAFLD. Besides the high prevalence of PCOS in general population, NAFLD was shown to be a frequent condition in transition periods, such as adolescence and menopause. Although liver biopsy is considered to be the gold standard for diagnosing liver damage, its routine use in such a prevalent condition as PCOS can be related to a higher rate of complications. Therefore, it is necessary to be able to diagnose NAFLD using simple and reliable surrogate markers. Recently, fatty liver index and NAFLD fatty liver score analyzed in large cohorts of PCOS women have been shown as accurate markers of liver damage in this metabolically vulnerable population. Lifestyle changes are still the mainstay of the management of NAFLD in PCOS, although prospective randomized controlled clinical studies remain a priority in the field. With regard to medications, metformin may be the drug of choice for treating PCOS patients with NAFLD when pharmacologic therapy is considered. Liraglutide use in obese PCOS has shown favorable effects on the predictors of liver fibrosis. In this review, we aim to summarize the influence of the common risk factors and to discuss the diagnostic approaches and management options for NAFLD in patients with PCOS.

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Ivana Božić-Antić, Dušan Ilić, Jelica Bjekić-Macut, Tamara Bogavac, Danijela Vojnović-Milutinović, Biljana Kastratovic-Kotlica, Nataša Milić, Olivera Stanojlović, Zoran Andrić and Djuro Macut

Abstract

Objective

There are limited data on cardiometabolic risk factors and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) across the different PCOS phenotypes in Caucasian population. Lipid accumulation product (LAP) is a clinical surrogate marker that could be used for evaluation of MetS in clinical practice. The aim of the study was to analyze metabolic characteristics and the ability of LAP to predict MetS in different PCOS phenotypes.

Design

Cross-sectional clinical study analyzing 365 women with PCOS divided into four phenotypes according to the ESHRE/ASRM criteria, and 125 healthy BMI-matched controls.

Methods

In all subjects, LAP was determined and MetS was diagnosed according to the National Cholesterol Education Program/Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP III), the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the Joint Interim Statement (JIS) criteria. Logistic regression and ROC curve analyses were used to determine predictors of MetS in each PCOS phenotype. All analyses were performed with age and BMI adjustment.

Results

All PCOS phenotypes in comparison to controls had higher prevalence of MetS assessed by NCEP-ATP III criteria, and only classic phenotypes when IDF and JIS criteria were used. All phenotypes had the same prevalence of MetS irrespective of used definition. LAP and exhibited the highest diagnostic accuracy and was an independent predictor of MetS in all phenotypes.

Conclusion

LAP is an independent and accurate clinical determinant of MetS in all PCOS phenotypes in our Caucasian population. All PCOS phenotypes, including non-classic ones, are metabolically challenged and with cardiovascular risk, particularly phenotype B.

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Djuro Macut, Svetozar Damjanović, Dimitrios Panidis, Nikolaos Spanos, Biljana Glišić, Milan Petakov, David Rousso, Anargyros Kourtis, Jelica Bjekić and Nataša Milić

Objective: Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are assumed to be at increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. This study examined the variations in oxidised low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL) concentration in relation to insulin levels in young women with PCOS.

Design: Cross-sectional clinical study in tertiary cares research hospitals. A total of 179 women with PCOS (79 overweight) and 56 age- and body mass index-matched controls were examined.

Methods: Blood samples were collected in follicular phase of the cycle for the basal glucose, total-, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) and LDL-cholesterol, OxLDL, triglycerides, apolipoprotein–A1 (Apo-A1) and B (Apo-B), lipoprotein (a), insulin, testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Homeostatic model index (HOMA) and free androgen index (FAI) were determined.

Results: Overweight and normal weight women with PCOS had higher concentrations of OxLDL than their control counterparts (P=0.007 and 0.003 respectively). Both the basal insulin (P=0.003) and HOMA values (P<0.001) were significantly higher in overweight than normal weight patients. Testosterone and FAI were higher in patients than in the respective controls (P<0.001). The only independent predictor of increased OxLDL concentration in normal weight patients was Apo-B-to-Apo-A1 ratio (P<0.001, odds ratio (OR) 6.1; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.3–16.4), while in obese PCOS, it was total cholesterol-to-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio (P<0.001, OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.6–4.9).

Conclusion: Young normal weight and overweight PCOS women have similarly increased OxLDL levels. Our results may indicate the presence of primary alteration in lipid metabolism in patients with PCOS. To answer the question whether the alteration in LDL particle size can by itself pose a higher cardiovascular risk, a careful follow-up of these women is needed.

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Gerard Conway, Didier Dewailly, Evanthia Diamanti-Kandarakis, Hector F Escobar-Morreale, Steven Franks, Alessandra Gambineri, Fahrettin Kelestimur, Djuro Macut, Dragan Micic, Renato Pasquali, Marija Pfeifer, Duarte Pignatelli, Michel Pugeat and Bulent O Yildiz

Background

There is evidence for differences between endocrinologists and other specialists in their approach to diagnosis and management of the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Objective

A mailed survey consisting of a simple questionnaire aiming to understand current practice for diagnosis and management of the PCOS by specialists across Europe.

Methods

The questionnaire consisted of 23 questions grouped to achieve information on i) the general characteristics of the respondents, ii) patients with PCOS seen by endocrinologists, iii) the main diagnostic criteria, iv) biochemical parameters used in the differential diagnosis of hyperandrogenism, v) long-term concerns, and, finally vi) treatment choices. A total of 357 questionnaires representing 13.3% of the members of European Society of Endocrinology (ESE) were available for final analysis; 93% of the respondents were endocrinologists

Results

In relation to the diagnostic criteria, respondents were most likely to select menstrual irregularity as the most frequent criteria used for the diagnosis of PCOS although very high rates were achieved for the use of hirsutism and biochemical hyperandrogenism. It therefore appears that the NIH criteria were followed by the majority of respondents. The most frequent biochemical parameters in the differential diagnosis of hyperandrogenism were total testosterone or free androgen index. Obesity and type 2 diabetes were regarded as the principal long-term concerns for PCOS. The most common treatments for patients with PCOS were metformin (33%), lifestyle modification (25%), and oral contraceptives (22%). More direct treatments of infertility include clomiphene citrate alone or in combination with metformin, prescribed by 9 and 23%, respectively, whereas only 6% used other methods for induction of ovulation.

Conclusion

The survey produced by ESE is a good start for evaluating the perspective in the diagnosis and treatment of PCOS by endocrinologists in Europe.

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Gerard Conway, Didier Dewailly, Evanthia Diamanti-Kandarakis, Héctor F Escobar-Morreale, Stephen Franks, Alessandra Gambineri, Fahrettin Kelestimur, Djuro Macut, Dragan Micic, Renato Pasquali, Marija Pfeifer, Duarte Pignatelli, Michel Pugeat and Bulent O Yildiz

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common ovarian disorder associated with androgen excess in women, which justifies the growing interest of endocrinologists. Great efforts have been made in the last 2 decades to define the syndrome. The presence of three different definitions for the diagnosis of PCOS reflects the phenotypic heterogeneity of the syndrome. Major criteria are required for the diagnosis, which in turn identifies different phenotypes according to the combination of different criteria. In addition, the relevant impact of metabolic issues, specifically insulin resistance and obesity, on the pathogenesis of PCOS, and the susceptibility to develop earlier than expected glucose intolerance states, including type 2 diabetes, has supported the notion that these aspects should be considered when defining the PCOS phenotype and planning potential therapeutic strategies in an affected subject. This paper offers a critical endocrine and European perspective on the debate on the definition of PCOS and summarises all major aspects related to aetiological factors, including early life events, potentially involved in the development of the disorder. Diagnostic tools of PCOS are also discussed, with emphasis on the laboratory evaluation of androgens and other potential biomarkers of ovarian and metabolic dysfunctions. We have also paid specific attention to the role of obesity, sleep disorders and neuropsychological aspects of PCOS and on the relevant pathogenetic aspects of cardiovascular risk factors. In addition, we have discussed how to target treatment choices based according to the phenotype and individual patient's needs. Finally, we have suggested potential areas of translational and clinical research for the future with specific emphasis on hormonal and metabolic aspects of PCOS.

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Evanthia Diamanti-Kandarakis, Maurizio Dattilo, Djuro Macut, Leonidas Duntas, Efstathios S Gonos, Dimitrios G Goulis, Christina Kanaka Gantenbein, Marianna Kapetanou, Eftychia Koukkou, Irene Lambrinoudaki, Marina Michalaki, Shahla Eftekhari-Nader, Renato Pasquali, Melpomeni Peppa, Marinella Tzanela, Evangeline Vassilatou, Andromachi Vryonidou and COMBO ENDO TEAM: 2016

Aging and its underlying pathophysiological background has always attracted the attention of the scientific society. Defined as the gradual, time-dependent, heterogeneous decline of physiological functions, aging is orchestrated by a plethora of molecular mechanisms, which vividly interact to alter body homeostasis. The ability of an organism to adjust to these alterations, in conjunction with the dynamic effect of various environmental stimuli across lifespan, promotes longevity, frailty or disease. Endocrine function undergoes major changes during aging, as well. Specifically, alterations in hormonal networks and concomitant hormonal deficits/excess, augmented by poor sensitivity of tissues to their action, take place. As hypothalamic–pituitary unit is the central regulator of crucial body functions, these alterations can be translated in significant clinical sequelae that can impair the quality of life and promote frailty and disease. Delineating the hormonal signaling alterations that occur across lifespan and exploring possible remedial interventions could possibly help us improve the quality of life of the elderly and promote longevity.