Cutaneous manifestations in polycystic ovarian syndrome : a clinico-epidemiological study

Sowjanya Mukkamala, Chintaginjala Aruna, Ramamurthy D.V.S.B, Sridevi K, A.L Senthil, Swapna Kameti


Objective To document various cutaneous manifestations and associated hormonal abnormalities in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).


Methods This was a cross-sectional study done which included 50 patients of PCOS. After noting the demographic variables, detailed history with particular reference to menstrual irregularity, infertility, family history etc. was taken. Cutaneous examination was done to note the various cutaneous features of PCOS. Relevant laboratory investigations and hormone assays like follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, testosterone (free and total), dehydroepiandrostenedione, sex hormone binding protein, insulin, thyroid stimulating hormone and prolactin were done in patients with PCOS on second day of spontaneous menstruation.


Results Mean age of patients in our study was 22.4±2.5 years. Menstrual disturbances were noted in 38 (76%) patients. The most common cutaneous feature noted in our study was acanthosis nigricans, seen in 31 (62%) cases followed by acne vulgaris noted in 26 cases (52%). Most common hormonal abnormality found in our study was elevated fasting insulin levels seen in 28 cases (56%) followed by elevated luteinizing hormone  levels (22 cases, 44%).


Conclusion PCOS is fairly common disorder in women of reproductive age group and is associated with various complications if left unrecognized and untreated. Cutaneous features of PCOS are first to manifest clinically and their screening in suspected cases help in early diagnosis.



PCOS, acanthosis nigricans, acne vulgaris, insulin resistance

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