[Acanthosis nigricans: metabolic interrelations inherent to the polycystic ovary syndrome]

Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet. 2014 Sep;36(9):410-5. doi: 10.1590/so100-720320140005078.
[Article in Portuguese]


Purpose: To establish the prevalence of acanthosis nigricans (AN) within the context of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and its associations with obesity, insulin resistance, insulinemia, and metabolic syndrome (MS).

Methods: A cross-sectional prospective study was conducted on 100 patients with PCOS diagnosed according to the Rotterdam Consensus (2003). The skin test included, in addition to the detection of the presence of AN, the presence of hirsutism (score ≥ 8) and acne. In addition to clinical and biochemical data, we investigated cardiovascular risk factors present in MS such as abdominal circumference, obesity, hypertension and HDL and triglyceride levels. Insulin resistance was determined by the HOMA-IR test.

Results: The prevalence of AN (53%) was significantly correlated with hirsutism (p = 0.02), body mass index (p < 0.01), basal insulinemia (p < 0.01), (HOMA-IR) (p < 0.01), and MS (p < 0.01). The prevalence of MS reached 36% and was significantly associated only with AN (p < 0.01). Although diabetes mellitus was absent, there was a significant association of altered HOMA-IR (p < 0.01) with MS (p < 5%) and AN (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: AN is part of the severe phenotypic profile of PCOS as an additional predictable sign of the risks of cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Acanthosis Nigricans / epidemiology
  • Acanthosis Nigricans / etiology*
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies