A pilot study of the human chorionic gonadotrophin test for ovarian hyperandrogenism

Seth G. Levrant*, Randall B. Barnes, Robert L. Rosenfield

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

A controlled clinical study was designed to investigate the value of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) challenge as a test for functional ovarian hyperandrogenism. Dexamethasone administration was followed by 5000 IU HCG and blood samples for steroid hormone assay were obtained 0, 8, 16, and 24 h thereafter. Study subjects were normal women (n = 13); women with functional ovarian hyperandrogenism, defined by androgen excess, amenorrhoea and an increased 17-hydroxyprogesterone response to nafarelin (n = 6); and normal men (n = 4). The responses of 17-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione and testosterone to HCG in women with functional ovarian hyperandrogenism were significantly greater than in normal women. However, the 17-hydroxyprogesterone response to HCG in functional ovarian hyperandrogenism was significantly lower after HCG than after nafarelin. The oestradiol response was also significantly lower after HCG than nafarelin, although oestradiol concentration more than doubled in normal women as well as in women with functional ovarian hyperandrogenism. The responses to HCG confirm that functional ovarian hyperandrogenism abnormalities are luteinizing hormone (LH)-dependent. Therefore, the 17-hydroxyprogesterone response to HCG could represent a useful test for the diagnosis of ovarian hyperandrogenism. The lower 17-hydroxyprogesterone response to HCG than to nafarelin in functional ovarian hyperandrogenism suggests that a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)-responsive factor modulates thecal 17-hydroxyprogesterone secretion. The oestradiol response to HCG is consistent with HCG directly stimulating the oestradiol secretion by thecal cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1416-1420
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Reproduction
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

Keywords

  • GnRHa
  • HCG
  • Hyperandrogenism
  • PCOS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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