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

Idiopathic hirsutism: an uncommon cause of hirsutism in Alabama.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of idiopathic hirsutism among a population of consecutive hirsute patients. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: University-based clinic. PATIENT(S): Premenopausal women with a complaint of hirsutism who were not receiving hormonal therapy. INTERVENTION(S): Evaluations for total and free testosterone, ( T), 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-HP), and DHEAS serum levels. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Ovulatory function in women with cycles of < or =35 days in length was assessed with a basal body temperature (BBT) calendar and day 22-24 progesterone levels. RESULT(S): Of 132 consecutive hirsute women studied, 68 had cycles of >35 days in length. Of the remaining 64 patients, 25 also had oligo/anovulation by BBT and day 22-24 progesterone level. Of the 39 patients with hirsutism and regular ovulatory function, 22 had total and free T and DHEAS levels within normal limits. CONCLUSION(S): If idiopathic hirsutism is defined by the presence of hirsutism, regular ovulation, and normal androgen levels, only 17% of consecutive hirsute patients can be diagnosed with the disorder. Alternatively, if idiopathic hirsutism is based solely on the presence of hirsutism and regular ovulation, regardless of androgen levels, then 29% of the total hirsute population can be considered as having idiopathic hirsutism. Importantly, 40% of hirsute patients with a history of "regular cycles" were actually oligo/anovulatory, indicating the need to objectively assess ovulatory function in such patients.[1]


  1. Idiopathic hirsutism: an uncommon cause of hirsutism in Alabama. Azziz, R., Waggoner, W.T., Ochoa, T., Knochenhauer, E.S., Boots, L.R. Fertil. Steril. (1998) [Pubmed]
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