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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

In-vitro ovarian steroidogenesis in women with pelvic congestion.

Follicular fluid steroid content and theca and granulosa cell steroidogenesis in pelvic congestion cystic ovaries were compared with steroidogenic function in both normal and polycystic ovaries. Ovaries were obtained at oophorectomy for benign gynaecological conditions, and classified according to gross morphology at dissection. Individual follicles were dissected out, follicular fluid aspirated, and granulosa and theca cells cultured in vitro. Androstenedione, progesterone and oestradiol content of the follicular fluid and overlying culture medium were measured by radioimmunoassay. There was a significant elevation of both basal and LH-stimulated androstenedione production by theca from both polycystic ovaries (n = 10; P < 0.005) and pelvic congestion cystic ovaries (n = 8; P < 0.05 and < 0.01 respectively) as compared with normal ovaries (n = 5). Granulosa cells from pelvic congestion ovaries (n = 7) had a diminished oestradiol response to FSH as compared with those from normal ovaries (n = 8). Follicular fluid from the majority of follicles in the pelvic congestion cystic ovaries had a high androgen:oestrogen ratio consistent with atresia. For the first time, pelvic congestion ovaries characterized by predominantly atretic follicles scattered throughout the stroma in a normal volume ovary are reported. Follicular atresia was reflected by reduced granulosa cell responsiveness to FSH, theca cell hyperplasia and increased basal and LH-stimulated androgen production. These ovaries are functionally distinct from polycystic ovaries, which do not have a higher proportion of atretic follicles than normal ovaries.[1]


  1. In-vitro ovarian steroidogenesis in women with pelvic congestion. Gilling-Smith, C., Mason, H., Willis, D., Franks, S., Beard, R.W. Hum. Reprod. (2000) [Pubmed]
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