Document Detail

Polycystic ovarian syndrome: marked differences between endocrinologists and gynaecologists in diagnosis and management.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15730409     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) commonly consult endocrinologists or gynaecologists and it is not known whether these specialty groups differ in their approach to management. OBJECTIVE: To compare the investigation, diagnosis and treatment practices of endocrinologists and gynaecologists who treat PCOS. DESIGN AND SETTING: A mailed questionnaire containing a hypothetical patient's case history with varying presentations--oligomenorrhoea, hirsutism, infertility and obesity--was sent to Australian clinical endocrinologists and gynaecologists in teaching hospitals and private practice. RESULTS: Evaluable responses were obtained from 138 endocrinologists and 172 gynaecologists. The two specialty groups differed in their choice of essential diagnostic criteria and investigations. Endocrinologists regarded androgenization (81%) and menstrual irregularity (70%) as essential diagnostic criteria, whereas gynaecologists required polycystic ovaries (61%), androgenization (59%), menstrual irregularity (47%) and an elevated LH/FSH ratio (47%) (all P-values < 0.001). In investigation, gynaecologists were more likely to request ovarian ultrasound (91%vs. 44%, P < 0.001) and endocrinologists more likely to measure adrenal androgens (80%vs. 58%, P < 0.001) and lipids (67%vs. 34%, P < 0.001). Gynaecologists were less likely to assess glucose homeostasis but more likely to use a glucose tolerance test to do so. Diet and exercise were chosen by most respondents as first-line treatment for all presentations. However, endocrinologists were more likely to use insulin sensitizers, particularly metformin, for these indications. In particular, for infertility, endocrinologists favoured metformin treatment whereas gynaecologists recommended clomiphene. CONCLUSIONS: There is a lack of consensus between endocrinologists and gynaecologists in the definition, diagnosis and treatment of PCOS. As a consequence, women may receive a different diagnosis or treatment depending on the type of specialist consulted.
Andrea J Cussons; Bronwyn G A Stuckey; John P Walsh; Valerie Burke; Robert J Norman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical endocrinology     Volume:  62     ISSN:  0300-0664     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf)     Publication Date:  2005 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-02-25     Completed Date:  2005-06-16     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0346653     Medline TA:  Clin Endocrinol (Oxf)     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  289-95     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Endocrinology / methods*
Gynecology / methods*
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / diagnosis*,  therapy
Professional Practice / statistics & numerical data*

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