No metabolic impact of surgical normalization of hyperandrogenism in postmenopausal women with ovarian androgen-secreting tumours

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Abstract

Aim

To examine the impact of surgical normalization of testosterone on body weight and on glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity in a group of hyperandrogenic women with ovarian androgen-secreting tumours (OAST).

Methods

Five consecutive postmenopausal hyperandrogenic patients (aged 63 ± 5 years) with a diagnosis of OAST were prospectively evaluated. Clinical signs, symptoms and metabolic and hormonal parameters were collected at the time of the diagnosis and at follow-up, 12 months after surgical oophorectomy. A group of 15 age-matched and body mass index-matched postmenopausal control women served as a reference group.

Results

At baseline, patients with OAST had very high testosterone levels and inappropriately low gonadotrophin levels for their menopausal status. All the women were overweight or obese, and one had a history of polycystic ovary syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. Twelve months after surgical oophorectomy, testosterone and gonadotrophin levels returned to appropriate values for menopausal status in all patients; however, no change in body weight was found. Fasting glucose levels slightly increased (P < 0·05) without any significant change in other metabolic parameters. In the woman with diabetes, a moderate decrease in haemoglobin A1c occurred. Red blood cell count and haematocrit values were normalized (P < 0·05, respectively).

Conclusion

Normalization of androgen levels achieved after surgical oophorectomy did not cause any significant change in body weight and insulin sensitivity. These findings may offer a different perspective on the impact of hyperandrogenaemia on metabolism.

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