Ovarian size and blood flow in women with polycystic ovary syndrome and their correlations with endocrine parameters

Enrico Carmina, Francesco Orio, Stefano Palomba, Rosa A. Longo, Gaetano Lombardi, Rogerio A. Lobo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine how common polycystic ovarian morphology may be in women given the clinical diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) based on chronic anovulation and hyperandrogenism and whether certain hormonal factors correlate with ovarian morphology and blood flow. Design: Prospective study. Setting: Two academic endocrinology centers in Italy. Patient(s): Three hundred twenty-six women with PCOS and 50 age-matched and weight-matched ovulatory women. Intervention(s): Ultrasound assessment of ovarian morphology in patients and controls and ovarian blood flow and fasting hormone levels in a subset of 50 patients and matched controls. Main Outcome Measure(s): Ovarian morphological assessments, ovarian blood flow by pulsatility index (PI) and resistance index (RI), and measurements of gonadotropins, estrogen, sex hormone-binding globulin, androgens, inhibin B, glucose, and insulin. Result(s): Using strict ultrasound criteria, 195 woman (60%) had enlarged ovaries, 135 (35%) had normal ovarian size but characteristic morphology, and 16 (5%) had normal size and morphology. Ovarian blood flow was increased (reduced PI and RI) in PCOS. All hormonal parameters were elevated in PCOS. Ovarian size correlated only with insulin and a measure of insulin resistance. Ovarian blood flow correlated positively with insulin, T, free T, and E 2 but not with luteinizing hormone. Inhibin B showed a negative correlation with ovarian blood flow. Conclusion(s): When a clinical diagnosis of PCOS was made, virtually all women were found to have characteristic ovarian morphology. Insulin correlated with increased ovarian size as well as with increased blood flow. Blood flow also correlated positively with sex steroids but negatively with inhibin B.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-419
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005


  • Blood flow
  • Inhibin B
  • Insulin
  • Ovarian size
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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