Postmenopausal androgen secreting ovarian tumour: pathophysiological implications; a case report

A. Pérez, J. Calaf, S. M. Webb, J. Prat, A. de Leiva

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Hyperandrogenism in women is usually accompanied by a disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis; however, the precise effect of chronically elevated androgens on this axis is poorly understood. We report a postmenopausal woman with a virilizing ovarian tumour in whom the effects of chronic testosterone secretion on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis was investigated. A 56-year-old woman was evaluated for hirsutism and hyperandrogenism of recent onset. Peripheral serum testosterone was high (19.4 nmol/l), while gonadotropins were below normal for a postmenopausal woman, FSH (19.7 IU/l) being higher than LH (10.3 IU/l). Four LH and 1 FSH pulse were detected over 4 h. A left intraovarian testosterone secreting tumour, shown by catheterization of the ovarian veins and containing imperfect crystalloids of Reinke, was excised. Postoperatively, peripheral testosterone became undetectable, while gonadotropins rose to normal postmenopausal values. This patient's LH FSH ratio was less than 1, in contrast with other situations of chronic hyperandrogenism. This could be explained by the concomitant hypoestrogenic state, and/or the theoretical absence of inhibin. The interest of this case resides in that it constitutes an appropriate model for studying the effects of testosterone on LH and FSH secretion in the absence of the other two classically involved modulators, namely oestrogens and inhibin. © 1990.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1990


  • Androgen
  • Menopause
  • Ovarian neoplasm


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