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Open access

Mojca Jensterle Sever, Tomaz Kocjan, Marija Pfeifer, Nika Aleksandra Kravos, and Andrej Janez

Objective

The effect of metformin on weight reduction in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is often unsatisfactory. In this study, we investigated the potential add-on effect of treatment with the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist liraglutide on weight loss in obese nondiabetic women with PCOS who had lost <5% body weight during pretreatment with metformin.

Methods

A total of 40 obese women with PCOS, who had been pretreated with metformin for at least 6 months, participated in a 12-week open-label, prospective study. They were randomized to one of three treatment arms: metformin (MET) arm 1000 mg BID, liraglutide (LIRA) arm 1.2 mg QD s.c., or combined MET 1000 mg BID and LIRA (COMBI) 1.2 mg QD s.c. Lifestyle intervention was not actively promoted. The primary outcome was change in body weight.

Results

Thirty six patients (aged 31.3±7.1 years, BMI 37.1±4.6 kg/m2) completed the study: 14 on MET, 11 on LIRA, and 11 on combined treatment. COMBI therapy was superior to LIRA and MET monotherapy in reducing weight, BMI, and waist circumference. Subjects treated with COMBI lost on average 6.5±2.8 kg compared with a 3.8±3.7 kg loss in the LIRA group and a 1.2±1.4 kg loss in the MET group (P<0.001). The extent of weight loss was stratified: a total of 38% of subjects were high responders who lost ≥5% body weight, 22% of them in the COMBI arm compared with 16 and 0% in the LIRA and MET arm respectively. BMI decreased by 2.4±1.0 in the COMBI arm compared with 1.3±1.3 in LIRA and 0.5±0.5 in the MET arm (P<0.001). Waist circumference also decreased by 5.5±3.8 cm in the COMBI arm compared with 3.2±2.9 cm in LIRA and 1.6±2.9 cm in the MET arm (P=0.029). Subjects treated with liraglutide experienced more nausea than those treated with metformin, but severity of nausea decreased over time and did not correlate with weight loss.

Conclusions

Short-term combined treatment with liraglutide and metformin was associated with significant weight loss and decrease in waist circumference in obese women with PCOS who had previously been poor responders regarding weight reduction on metformin monotherapy.

Free access

Mojca Jensterle, Miran Sebestjen, Andrej Janez, Janez Prezelj, Tomaz Kocjan, Irena Keber, and Marija Pfeifer

Objective

There is evidence of preclinical cardiovascular disease even in young women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The aim of our study was to assess and compare the effects of metformin (MET) and rosiglitazone (ROSI) on endothelial function in PCOS patients.

Methods

For 6 months, 26 women with PCOS received either MET or ROSI. Blood samples for assessment of androgens, lipids, and high-sensitive C-reactive protein were taken at baseline and at endpoint. Endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and glyceryl trinitrate-induced endothelium-independent dilation of brachial artery were studied before and after treatment. Homeostasis model assessment (HOMAIR) calculation was applied as a measure of insulin resistance (IR).

Results

With treatment, FMD of brachial artery improved significantly from 4.2±6.6 to 10.2±5.9% in MET group (P=0.036) and from 2.9±3.2 to 7.6±4.9% in ROSI group (P=0.026), MET being as effective as ROSI (P=0.70). The endothelium-independent dilation did not change. Additionally, administration of MET was associated with a significant decrease in HOMAIR (P=0.003), serum total and serum-free testosterone (P=0.045 and P=0.008 respectively) and significantly higher frequencies of menstrual bleeding (P=0.006).

Conclusions

A 6-month therapy with insulin sensitizers, MET and ROSI, resulted in marked improvement of endothelial function in young PCOS patients without clinically evident atherosclerosis who were not severely insulin resistant. Neither drug was superior to the other. We conclude that therapeutic intervention with either insulin sensitizer may reverse the atherosclerotic process in PCOS patients at its early stage.