Polycystic ovary syndrome: the controversy of diagnosis by ultrasound.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dartmouth Medical School, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire 03756, USA. Misty.B.Porter@Hitchcock.org
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a heterogeneous endocrine disorder. The criteria used to establish the diagnosis remain controversial. The 1990 National Institutes of Health conference guidelines required a combination of both chronic anovulation and clinical/or biochemical signs of hyperandrogenism.
These criteria were revised in 2003 at the Rotterdam European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology/American Society of Reproductive Medicine consensus workshop to include ultrasound polycystic ovarian morphology (PCOM) as one of the two of three criteria necessary for establishing the diagnosis of PCOS.
The inclusion of PCOM sparked a controversy as it broadens the population of women who meet the criteria for PCOS and allows for the creation of two phenotypically different patient populations who previously would have been excluded.
The ultrasound findings, which are consistent with PCOM, include an assessment of follicle number and/or ovarian volume.
As technology advances with two-dimensional and three-dimensional ultrasound, our ability to discretely evaluate independent portions of the ovary may help to redefine the criteria of PCOM and thus standardize for clinical and research interests a more specific descriptor for PCOM.