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.
Djuro Macut, Ivana Božić-Antić, Jelica Bjekić-Macut and Konstantinos Tziomalos
Gerasimos E Krassas, Konstantinos Tziomalos, Nikolaos Pontikides, Hadas Lewy and Zvi Laron
Objective: We aimed to test the viral hypothesis in the pathogenesis of autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD).
Design: We determined the pattern of month of birth (MOB) distribution in patients with AITD and in the general population and searched for differences between them.
Methods: A total of 1023 patients were included in this study; 359 patients had Graves’ hyperthyroidism (GrH) and 664 had Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism (HH). We divided the patients with HH into three subgroups according to their thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibody titers at diagnosis: low levels (<500 IU/ml), high levels (500–1000 IU/ml), and extremely high levels (>1000 IU/ml). We used cosinor analysis to analyze the data.
Results: Overall, patients with GrH and HH had a different pattern of MOB distribution when compared with the general population and between groups. Furthermore, among both patients with GrH and HH, both genders had a different pattern of MOB distribution when compared with the general population and this pattern was also different between genders. Finally, only women with extremely high titers of TPO antibodies at diagnosis and men with low or extremely high TPO antibody levels showed rhythmicity in MOB, with a pattern of MOB distribution different from that in controls.
Conclusions: The different MOB seasonality in both GrH and HH points towards a similar maybe even common etiology with type 1 diabetes mellitus and multiple sclerosis, namely a seasonal viral infection as the initial trigger in the perinatal period, the clinical disease resulting from further specific damage over time.
Dimitrios Panidis, Konstantinos Tziomalos, Panagiotis Chatzis, Efstathios Papadakis, Dimitrios Delkos, Elena A Tsourdi, Eleni A Kandaraki and Ilias Katsikis
Insulin resistance (IR) is frequent in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and contributes to the increased risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease of this population. Several markers of IR are used but most are expensive or have limited sensitivity and specificity. Preliminary data suggest that the menstrual cycle pattern correlates with IR in PCOS but existing studies are small. We aimed to assess the relationship between the type of menstrual cycle irregularities and IR in PCOS.
We studied 1285 women with PCOS, divided according to the menstrual cycle pattern.
Patients with isolated secondary amenorrhea and those with secondary amenorrhea alternating with regular menstrual cycles were more insulin resistant than patients with regular cycles (Group D). Patients with isolated oligomenorrhea were also more insulin resistant than Group D. However, patients with oligomenorrhea alternating with regular cycles, secondary amenorrhea, or polymenorrhea had comparable levels of markers of IR with Group D. Moreover, patients with oligomenorrhea alternating with regular cycles were less insulin resistant than patients with secondary amenorrhea alternating with regular cycles. Finally, patients with isolated polymenorrhea and those with polymenorrhea alternating with regular cycles had comparable levels of markers of IR with Group D.
Amenorrhea is associated with more pronounced IR in PCOS, and oligomenorrhea portends a less excessive risk for IR than amenorrhea whereas polymenorrhea appears to be even more benign metabolically. Therefore, the type of menstrual cycle abnormality appears to represent a useful tool for identifying a more adverse metabolic profile in PCOS.
Dimitrios Panidis, Konstantinos Tziomalos, Efstathios Papadakis, Panagiotis Chatzis, Eleni A Kandaraki, Elena A Tsourdi, Christos Vosnakis and Ilias Katsikis
Hirsutism is frequently present in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and is a major sign of hyperandrogenism. However, other disorders frequently present in PCOS, particularly abdominal obesity and insulin resistance (IR), have also been implicated in the development of hirsutism in this population but relevant data are limited. We aimed to define the determinants of the presence of hirsutism in PCOS.
We studied 1297 patients with PCOS (age 24.3±5.8 years, BMI 26.8±6.9 kg/m2). Hirsutism was defined as a modified Ferriman–Gallwey score ≥8.
Women with hirsutism were younger, had greater BMI, and had higher levels of circulating androgens than women without hirsutism; markers of IR did not differ between the two groups after adjustment for age and BMI. The prevalence of hirsutism progressively declined with age, was lower in normal-weight women than in overweight and obese women, and was comparably prevalent in the hyperandrogenemic phenotypes of PCOS. In binary logistic regression analysis, independent predictors of the presence of hirsutism were younger age, larger waist circumference (W), and higher serum testosterone levels. In stepwise linear regression analysis, the Ferriman–Gallwey score independently correlated with age, W, free androgen index, and serum Δ4-androstenedione and DHEAS levels.
Besides hyperandrogenemia, abdominal obesity, and young age are independently associated with the presence of hirsutism. In contrast, the relationship between IR and hirsutism appears to be mediated by the more severe obesity of insulin-resistant patients with PCOS.
Ekaterini Koiou, Konstantinos Tziomalos, Ilias Katsikis, Emmanuil Kalaitzakis, Eleni A Kandaraki, Elena A Tsourdi, Dimitrios Delkos, Efstathios Papadakis and Dimitrios Panidis
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) appear to have higher cardiovascular risk than healthy population. Patients diagnosed with PCOS according to the 1990 criteria have a more adverse metabolic profile than those diagnosed with the 2003 criteria. Platelet-derived microparticles (PMPs) appear to contribute to atherosclerosis but have not been assessed in PCOS. The aim of this study was to determine plasma PMPs in PCOS patients.
A cross-sectional study.
We assessed plasma PMPs in 76 normal weight women with PCOS (39 belonging to the phenotypes 1 and 2 (group I) and 37 belonging to the phenotypes 3 and 4 (group II)) and 21 healthy normal weight women.
Markers of obesity and insulin resistance did not differ between women with PCOS and controls. Serum testosterone levels and the free androgen index (FAI) were higher in group I than in group II and controls (P<0.001 for all comparisons) but did not differ between the latter two groups. Plasma PMPs were higher in group I than in controls (P=0.018) but did not differ between group II and controls or between groups I and II. In the total study population (n=97), plasma PMPs correlated with serum testosterone levels (r=0.207, P=0.042) and the FAI (r=0.207, P=0.042).
Plasma PMPs are elevated in women with phenotypes 1 and 2 of PCOS compared with healthy controls, but not in women with phenotypes 3 and 4. Hyperandrogenemia, which is more pronounced in phenotypes 1 and 2, appears to be implicated in the increase in plasma PMPs.