Ultrasonographic measurement of the femoral cartilage thickness in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome

Fertil Steril. 2012 Jan;97(1):235-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2011.10.024. Epub 2011 Nov 17.


Objective: To compare the femoral cartilage thickness values of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) patients with those of age-matched, healthy women and to find out whether cartilage thickness changes with the clinical parameters.

Design: A cross-sectional controlled study.

Setting: A secondary care center and a tertiary care center.

Patient(s): Thirty-three women with PCOS (mean age: 23.7 ± 3.5 years; 66 knees) and 30 healthy control women matched for age and body mass index (mean age: 24.8 ± 4.2 years; 60 knees).

Intervention(s): Measurement of knee cartage thickness of infertile PCOS patients.

Main outcome measure(s): The thickness of femoral articular cartilage measured with an ultrasound with a linear probe (7-12 MHz) as well as three midpoint measurements taken from each knee: the lateral condyle, intercondylar area, and medial condyle.

Result(s): The demographic and clinical features of the PCOS patients, the laboratory evaluations, and the endometrial thickness values were recorded, and the three midpoint measurements were taken from each knee. The PCOS patients had thicker cartilage values than the control group at all measurement sites. There was no correlation between the clinical parameters and the cartilage thickness values of PCOS patients.

Conclusion(s): Our findings support the possible favorable effects of estrogen and androgens in PCOS patients. However, our data cannot determine whether PCOS patients have less risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life because they also have higher BMI values. The possible long-term changes in cartilage thickness in PCOS patients require further study.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cartilage Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cartilage Diseases / etiology*
  • Cartilage, Articular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Femur / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Ultrasonography / methods*
  • Ultrasonography / standards*
  • Young Adult