Clinical endocrinology

Polycystic ovary syndrome and anti-Müllerian hormone: role of insulin resistance, androgens, obesity and gonadotrophins.

PMID 25040369


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex endocrine disorder associated with insulin resistance, hyperandrogenism, obesity, altered gonadotrophin release and anovulatory infertility. Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) has been proposed as a marker of ovarian function and fertility. Across a cohort of lean and overweight women with and without PCOS, we investigated the association of AMH with insulin resistance and body composition using gold standard measures. A secondary aim was to examine whether AMH was useful to determine PCOS status. Cross-sectional study. A total of 22 lean and 21 overweight women with PCOS and 19 lean and 16 overweight non-PCOS healthy controls were recruited. PCOS was diagnosed based on the Rotterdam criteria. Euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp for assessing insulin resistance, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and computed tomography for assessing adiposity, and blood sampling for the assessment of androgens, gonadotrophins and AMH. Anti-Müllerian hormone levels were increased in women with PCOS (Pxa0<0·001) regardless of adiposity, with this increase associated with testosterone (Pxa0<0·001) rather than insulin resistance (Pxa0=xa00·79), adiposity (Pxa0=xa00·98) or gonadotrophins. In assessing the ability of AMH to predict PCOS, a value of 30xa0pmol/l or higher indicated 79% of women with PCOS were correctly identified as having the condition. Anti-Müllerian hormone appears primarily related to androgen status suggesting a direct and predominant role of androgens in the pathophysiology of reproductive dysfunction in PCOS. As AMH reflects PCOS status, it may also be useful in PCOS diagnosis.