Ovarian cysts in young girls with hypothyroidism: follow-up and effect of treatment

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Jul;19(7):895-900. doi: 10.1515/jpem.2006.19.7.895.


Ovarian cysts have been reported in girls with longstanding uncompensated primary hypothyroidism. Restoration of euthyroid state has been associated with resolution of these cysts; long-term follow-up of these patients is however lacking. We evaluated the outcome in ten girls with ovarian cysts and hypothyroidism managed at our hospital with special emphasis on subsequent pubertal development and ovarian imaging. Patients were diagnosed at the age of 8.6 +/- 2.3 years (mean +/- SD) with severe uncompensated primary hypothyroidism (TSH levels >100 mIU/l in all; 509.3 +/- 651 mIU/l) and growth retardation (height SDS -4.1 +/- 1.8). Nine girls had vaginal bleeding at diagnosis; five also had thelarche. LH and FSH levels were prepubertal in all patients. Ovarian cysts were bilateral in eight girls (80%); internal septation was noted in six. Thyroxine replacement (4.1 +/- 0.7 microg/kg/day) led to normalization of TSH levels with reversal of pubertal changes and regression of ovarian cysts in all patients 2.2 +/- 1.0 months after treatment. At last follow-up 3.5 +/- 2.6 years after initiation of treatment at the age of 12.0 +/- 2.3 years, all patients had normal ovarian size in ultrasound evaluation with six girls progressing to normal puberty. Our study emphasizes the need to exclude hypothyroidism in young girls with ovarian cysts. Identification of hypothyroidism in these girls obviates the need for extensive investigations.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / blood
  • Hypothyroidism / complications*
  • Hypothyroidism / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Cysts / etiology*
  • Pituitary Gland / pathology
  • Puberty, Precocious / drug therapy
  • Puberty, Precocious / etiology*
  • Thyrotropin / blood
  • Thyroxine / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Thyrotropin
  • Thyroxine