Endocrine and metabolic effects of octreotide, a somatostatin analogue, in lean PCOS patients with either hyperinsulinaemia or lean normoinsulinaemia

Hum Reprod. 1999 Dec;14(12):2951-8. doi: 10.1093/humrep/14.12.2951.


The effects on insulin secretion and on the glycaemic and androgen status before and after short-term treatment with octreotide were evaluated in 16 normal weight patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Hyperinsulinaemia was determined by measuring the insulin response after oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Seven patients (group A) were classified as normoinsulinaemic, while nine patients (group B) were considered hyperinsulinaemic according to insulin response after OGTT. Octreotide treatment did not modify either glycaemic or insulinaemic response after OGTT, or androgen profile, in normoinsulinaemic patients. On the contrary, a significant decrease in the basal concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone and androstenedione, and a significant increase in serum concentrations of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were observed in the hyperinsulinaemic group of patients, in which we observed also a significant decrease of insulinaemic response and a decompensation of the glycaemic profile after OGTT. Our study is the first report showing that: (i) octreotide does not appear to significantly influence pituitary release of gonadotrophins in this group of PCOS patients; (ii) octreotide is able to reduce insulin release, LH and androgen concentrations in lean PCOS patients with hyperinsulinaemia. Due to the presence of a decompensation of glucose homeostasis during treatment, octreotide does not seem advisable for long-term therapy of hyperandrogenism in lean PCOS patients with hyperinsulinaemia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Androgens / blood
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Weight
  • Endocrine Glands / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Gonadotropins / blood
  • Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hyperinsulinism / blood
  • Hyperinsulinism / etiology*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Octreotide / therapeutic use*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Reference Values


  • Androgens
  • Blood Glucose
  • Gonadotropins
  • Hormones
  • Insulin
  • Insulin Antagonists
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Octreotide