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Digit ratios by computer-assisted analysis confirm lack of anatomical evidence of prenatal androgen exposure in clinical phenotypes of polycystic ovary syndrome

DOI: 10.1186/1477-7827-8-156

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Ninety-six women diagnosed with PCOS according to the 2003 Rotterdam criteria had their finger lengths measured with computer-assisted analysis. Participants were categorized into four recognized phenotypes of PCOS and their 2D:4D compared to healthy female controls (n = 48) and men (n = 50).Digit ratios assessed by computer-assisted analysis in women with PCOS did not differ from female controls, but were significantly lower in men. When subjects were stratified by PCOS phenotype, 2D:4D did not differ among phenotypes or when compared to female controls.Computer-assisted measurements validated that digit ratios of women with PCOS do not show anatomical evidence of increased prenatal androgen exposure.Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex endocrine disorder, having no single diagnostic trait [1,2]. Much controversy has surrounded the diagnosis of this condition but in 2003 experts proposed that a diagnosis of PCOS be based on the presence of two of three symptoms: 1) oligo or chronic anovulation (amenorrhea), 2) biochemical and/or clinical hyperandrogenism and 3) polycystic ovaries on ultrasonography [1,2]. These criteria recognized the broad clinical spectrum of PCOS including, the manifestation four unique phenotypes [3]. Frank PCOS represents the most severe form of this condition and is characterized by the presence all three symptoms. Non-PCO PCOS is characterized by oligoanovulation, hyperandrogenism, but normal ovarian morphology. Ovulatory PCOS describes the presence of hyperandrogenism, polycystic ovaries and normal menstrual cycles, whereas Mild PCOS describes the presence of oligoamenorrhea and polycystic ovaries, but no hyperandrogenism. While the validity of these phenotypes is still being debated [4,5], there is consensus among experts that PCOS imparts serious consequences for the long-term health and quality of life of patients and therefore should invite early identification and intervention [1-6].Despite familial clustering, the diverse man


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