Background/aims: The diagnostic criteria for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in adolescence are controversial, primarily because the diagnostic pathological features used in adult women may be normal pubertal physiological events. Hence, international pediatric and adolescent specialty societies have defined criteria that have sufficient evidence to be used for the diagnosis of PCOS in adolescents.
Methods: The literature has been reviewed and evidence graded to address a series of questions regarding the diagnosis of PCOS during adolescence including the following: clinical and biochemical evidence of hyperandrogenism, criteria for oligo-anovulation and polycystic ovary morphology, diagnostic criteria to exclude other causes of hyperandrogenism and amenorrhea, role of insulin resistance, and intervention.
Results and conclusion: Features of PCOS overlap normal pubertal development. Hence, caution should be taken before diagnosing PCOS without longitudinal evaluation. However, treatment may be indicated even in the absence of a definitive diagnosis. While obesity, insulin resistance, and hyperinsulinemia are common findings in adolescents with hyperandrogenism, these features should not be used to diagnose PCOS among adolescent girls. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.