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Open access

Yao Chen and Shu-ying Fang

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a heterogenous endocrine disorder with typical symptoms of oligomenorrhoea, hyperandrogenism, hirsutism, obesity, insulin resistance and increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Extensive evidence indicates that PCOS is a genetic disease and numerous biochemical pathways have been linked with its pathogenesis. A number of genes from these pathways have been investigated, which include those involved with steroid hormone biosynthesis and metabolism, action of gonadotropin and gonadal hormones, folliculogenesis, obesity and energy regulation, insulin secretion and action and many others. In this review, we summarize the historical and recent findings in genetic polymorphisms of PCOS from the relevant publications and outline some genetic polymorphisms that are potentially associated with the risk of PCOS. This information could uncover candidate genes associating with PCOS, which will be valuable for the development of novel diagnostic and treatment platforms for PCOS patients.

Open access

Veronica Kieffer, Kate Davies, Christine Gibson, Morag Middleton, Jean Munday, Shashana Shalet, Lisa Shepherd, and Phillip Yeoh

This competency framework was developed by a working group of endocrine specialist nurses with the support of the Society for Endocrinology to enhance the clinical care that adults with an endocrine disorder receive. Nurses should be able to demonstrate that they are functioning at an optimal level in order for patients to receive appropriate care. By formulating a competency framework from which an adult endocrine nurse specialist can work, it is envisaged that their development as professional practitioners can be enhanced. This is the second edition of the Competency Framework for Adult Endocrine Nursing. It introduces four new competencies on benign adrenal tumours, hypo- and hyperparathyroidism, osteoporosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. The authors and the Society for Endocrinology welcome constructive feedback on the document, both nationally and internationally, in anticipation that further developments and ideas can be incorporated into future versions.

Open access

Karim Gariani and François R Jornayvaz

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the industrialized world. NAFLD encompasses a whole spectrum ranging from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cirrhosis. The latter can lead to hepatocellular carcinoma. Furthermore, NASH is the most rapidly increasing indication for liver transplantation in western countries and therefore represents a global health issue. The pathophysiology of NASH is complex and includes multiple parallel hits. NASH is notably characterized by steatosis as well as evidence of hepatocyte injury and inflammation, with or without fibrosis. NASH is frequently associated with type 2 diabetes and conditions associated with insulin resistance. Moreover, NASH may also be found in many other endocrine diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism, male hypogonadism, growth hormone deficiency or glucocorticoid excess, for example. In this review, we will discuss the pathophysiology of NASH associated with different endocrinopathies.

Open access

Anita Hokken-Koelega, Aart-Jan van der Lely, Berthold Hauffa, Gabriele Häusler, Gudmundur Johannsson, Mohamad Maghnie, Jesús Argente, Jean DeSchepper, Helena Gleeson, John W Gregory, Charlotte Höybye, Fahrettin Keleştimur, Anton Luger, Hermann L Müller, Sebastian Neggers, Vera Popovic-Brkic, Eleonora Porcu, Lars Sävendahl, Stephen Shalet, Bessie Spiliotis, and Maithé Tauber

Objective

Seamless transition of endocrine patients from the paediatric to adult setting is still suboptimal, especially in patients with complex disorders, i.e., small for gestational age, Turner or Prader–Willi syndromes; Childhood Cancer Survivors, and those with childhood-onset growth hormone deficiency.

Methods

An expert panel meeting comprised of European paediatric and adult endocrinologists was convened to explore the current gaps in managing the healthcare of patients with endocrine diseases during transition from paediatric to adult care settings.

Results

While a consensus was reached that a team approach is best, discussions revealed that a ‘one size fits all’ model for transition is largely unsuccessful in these patients. They need more tailored care during adolescence to prevent complications like failure to achieve target adult height, reduced bone mineral density, morbid obesity, metabolic perturbations (obesity and body composition), inappropriate/inadequate puberty, compromised fertility, diminished quality of life and failure to adapt to the demands of adult life. Sometimes it is difficult for young people to detach emotionally from their paediatric endocrinologist and/or the abrupt change from an environment of parental responsibility to one of autonomy. Discussions about impending transition and healthcare autonomy should begin in early adolescence and continue throughout young adulthood to ensure seamless continuum of care and optimal treatment outcomes.

Conclusions

Even amongst a group of healthcare professionals with a great interest in improving transition services for patients with endocrine diseases, there is still much work to be done to improve the quality of healthcare for transition patients.

Open access

Sebastião Freitas de Medeiros, Cinthia Marenza Ormond, Matheus Antônio Souto de Medeiros, Nayara de Souza Santos, Camila Regis Banhara, and Márcia Marly Winck Yamamoto

Objective

To examine the anthropometric, and metabolic connections of 17-hydroxypregnenolone in the normo- and hyperandrogenemic polycystic ovary syndrome phenotypes.

Materials and methods

This cohort study was conducted at the Julio Muller University Hospital, Cuiabá, Brazil, between January 2014 and July 2016, and 91 normal cycling healthy women, 46 normoandrogenemic and 147 hyperandrogenemic, patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) were enrolled according to the Rotterdam criteria. Several anthropometric, biochemical and hormonal parameters were properly verified and correlated with 17-hydroxypregnenolone (17-OHPE) concentrations.

Results

17-OHPE was higher in hyperandrogenemic PCOS than in normoandrogenemic PCOS and in control groups (P = 0.032 and P < 0.001, respectively). In healthy controls, 17-OHPE was positively associated with glucose, free estrogen index, DHEAS and negatively associated with compounds S. In normoandrogenemic PCOS patients, 17-OHPE presented positive correlations with VAI, LAP, cortisol, insulin and HOMA-IR. In the hyperandrogenemic group, 17-OHPE presented significant negative correlations with most anthropometric parameters, HOMA-IR, HOMA %B, estradiol, free estrogen index (FEI), C-peptide, and TG levels and positive correlations with HOMA-S and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG), androstenedione (A4) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Regarding hyperandrogenemic PCOS, and using a stepwise multiple regression, only HOMA-S and WHR were retained in the model (R 2 = 0.294, P < 0.001).

Conclusion

17-OHPE exhibited different relationships with anthropometric, and biochemical parameters in PCOS patients, depending on the androgen levels. In PCOS subjects with high androgen concentrations, 17-OHPE was negatively associated with most anthropometric parameters, particularly with those used as markers of adipose tissue dysfunction and frequently employed as predictors of cardiovascular disease risk; otherwise, 17-OHPE was positively associated with HDL-C and HOMA-S in this patients. Future studies are required to evaluate the clinical implications of these novel findings.

Open access

Nafiye Helvaci, Erdem Karabulut, Ahmet Ugur Demir, and Bulent Okan Yildiz

Background and Objective

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has been reported to be associated with the development of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The objective of this meta-analysis is to assess the relationship between PCOS and OSA.

Methods

A literature search was conducted to identify studies linking PCOS with the risk of OSA. Studies in which the presence of OSA was confirmed with overnight polysomnography were included. Random effects models were used to calculate pooled relative risks.

Results

Eight studies conducted in adults and five studies conducted in adolescents were identified. The pooled OSA prevalence was 0.22 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.08–0.40) in PCOS patients. The pooled prevalence of OSA was higher in adults (0.32, 95% CI: 0.13–0.55) than adolescents (0.08, 95% CI: 0.00–0.30). Risk of OSA was significantly increased in adult patients with PCOS (odds ratio (OR) 9.74, 95% CI: 2.76–34.41). Risk of OSA was not significantly increased in adolescents (OR: 4.54, 95% CI:0.56–36.43).

Conclusions

These findings demonstrate a significant association between PCOS and OSA in adult patients. Considering the increased risk for long-term cardiometabolic disorders associated with both PCOS and OSA, it is important to diagnose and treat OSA in patients with PCOS.

Open access

Silan Zheng, Meifeng Tong, Lianqin Dong, Chunmin Du, Xin Zheng, Liying Wang, Peiying Huang, Wei Liu, Mingzhu Lin, and Changqin Liu

Objective

To explore the independent associations of the new adiposity indices lipid accumulation product (LAP) index, visceral adiposity index (VAI), and product of triglycerides and glucose (TyG) with the risks of hepatic steatosis (HS) in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Design

This is a cross-sectional study with 101 women with PCOS undergoing controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) measurement who were recruited from November 2018 to August 2019. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the associations of adiposity indices with HS.

Result(s)

Among the 101 PCOS patients, the prevalence rate of HS was 70.3%. The PCOS patients with HS have higher percentage of overweight/obesity status, higher level of aminotransferase (AST and ALT), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), LAP, VAI, TyG, waist circumference (WC), and BMI (P < 0.05). Partial correlation analysis showed LAP, WC and BMI were significantly positively associated with CAP (P < 0.05) after controlling for confounding factors. Besides, BMI, WC, and CAP were gradually elevated with the increase of LAP level. Further, multivariable logistic regression analysis showed adjusted odd ratio (OR) with associated 95% CI (OR (95% CI)) were respectively 1.09 (1.03–1.16) for LAP, 1.14 (1.05–1.23) for WC, 1.28 (1.08–1.51) for BMI, respectively.

Conclusions

The present study demonstrates that in women with PCOS, except for the traditional adiposity indices (WC and BMI), LAP is independently correlated with the risk of HS.

Open access

Anastasia K Armeni, Konstantinos Assimakopoulos, Dimitra Marioli, Vassiliki Koika, Euthychia Michaelidou, Niki Mourtzi, Gregoris Iconomou, and Neoklis A Georgopoulos

Over the past decades, research attention has increasingly been paid to the neurobiological component of sexual behavior. The aim of the present study was to investigate the correlation of estrogen receptor α (ERA) gene polymorphism (rs2234693-PvuII) (T→C substitution) and oxytocin receptor gene polymorphism (rs53576) (G→A substitution) with sexuality parameters of young, healthy women. One hundred thirty-three Greek heterosexual women, students in higher education institutions, 20–25 years of age, sexually active, with normal menstrual cycles (28–35 days), were recruited in the study. Exclusion criteria were chronic and/or major psychiatric diseases, use of oral contraceptive pills (OCs), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid diseases as well as drugs that are implicated in hypothalamus–pituitary–gonadal axis. T allele (wildtype) of rs2234693 (PvuII) polymorphism of ERA gene was correlated with increased levels of arousal and lubrication, whereas A allele (polymorphic) of rs53576 (OXTR) polymorphism was correlated with increased arousal levels. The simultaneous presence of both T allele of rs2234693 (PvuII) and A allele of rs53576 (OXTR) polymorphisms (T + A group) was correlated with increased arousal, orgasm levels as well as female sexual function index full score. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the interaction between ERA and OXTR with regard to sexual function in women. Female sexuality is a complex behavioral trait that encompasses both biological and psychological components. It seems that variability in female sexual response stems from genetic variability that characterizes endocrine, neurotransmitter and central nervous system influences.

Open access

Xingyan Liu, Mei Xu, Min Qian, and Lindong Yang

The cytochrome P450 family 17 (CYP17) is associated with hyperandrogenism in women, and the association between CYP17 gene polymorphism and the risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is not definitive. In order to determine whether the CYP17 T/C (rs74357) gene polymorphism is an exposure risk for PCOS, a comprehensive meta-analysis summarizing 19 studies was performed. The pooled odds ratio (OR) and the corresponding 95% CI were measured under five genetic models, and the stratified analyses by ethnicity, Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, testosterone levels and BMI in controls were carried out to identify the causes of substantial heterogeneity. The overall results validated that the CYP17 T/C (rs74357) gene polymorphism was significantly associated with PCOS risk in four genetic models. Moreover, the outcomes of subgroup analysis by ethnicity indicated that the frequencies of the C allele of CYP17 T/C (rs74357) polymorphism were markedly higher in women from Asia than in Caucasians (T vs C: OR 0.85, 95% CI = 0.74–0.99, P < 0.05). Therefore, these findings suggested that the CYP17 T/C (rs74357) gene polymorphism played an indispensable part in increasing the susceptibility of PCOS when carrying the C allele, which proposed that the polymorphism of the CYP17 gene may be a predictive factor for the risk of PCOS or an important pathway in PCOS-associated metabolic and hormonal dysregulation.

Open access

Angelica Lindén Hirschberg

Emerging evidence indicates that testosterone, which can increase muscle mass and strength, stimulates erythropoiesis, promotes competitive behaviour, and enhances the physical performance of women. Indeed, the levels of testosterone within the normal female range are related to muscle mass and athletic performance in female athletes. Furthermore, among these athletes, the prevalence of hyperandrogenic conditions, including both polycystic ovary syndrome and rare differences/disorders of sex development (DSD), which may greatly increase testosterone production, are elevated. Thus, if the androgen receptors of an individual with XY DSD are functional, her muscle mass will develop like that of a man. These findings have led to the proposal that essential hyperandrogenism is beneficial for athletic performance and plays a role in the choice by women to compete in athletic activities. Moreover, a recent randomized controlled trial demonstrated a significant increase in the lean mass and aerobic performance by young exercising women when their testosterone levels were enhanced moderately. Circulating testosterone is considered the strongest factor to explain the male advantage in sport performance, ranging between 10 and 20%. It appears to be unfair to allow female athletes with endogenous testosterone levels in the male range (i.e. 10–20 times higher than normal) to compete against those with normal female androgen levels. In 2012, this consideration led international organizations to establish eligibility regulations for the female classification in order to ensure fair and meaningful competition, but the regulations are controversial and have been challenged in court.