New Diagnostic Criteria of Polycystic Ovarian Morphology for Adolescents: Impact on Prevalence and Hormonal Profile

Horm Res Paediatr. 2017;88(6):401-407. doi: 10.1159/000481532. Epub 2017 Oct 19.


Background: The ultrasonographic criteria used to identify polycystic ovarian morphology (PCOM) during adolescence have changed over time. Recently, a Worldwide Pediatric Consensus (PedC) defined PCOM using stricter criteria than the previous recommendations of the Rotterdam Consensus (RC) and Androgen Excess-Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Society (AES/PCOS) criteria. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of PCOM in healthy adolescents according to the 3 reported diagnostic criteria and compare the hormonal profile in females with and without PCOM based on the PedC criteria.

Methods: Nonobese adolescents (n = 102) with regular menstrual cycles were studied. Transabdominal ultrasound and hormonal profiles were assessed during the follicular phase. PCOM was defined on the basis of the 3 published criteria.

Results: On the basis of the PedC, RC, and AES/PCOS criteria, PCOM was diagnosed in 13, 34, and 24% of adolescents, respectively. Adolescents with and without PCOM according to the PedC criteria had similar androgen levels. Serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels were elevated in adolescents with PCOM, irrespective of the criteria used.

Conclusions: Use of the new PedC diagnostic criteria for PCOM results in a lower prevalence of this ultrasonographic pattern in adolescents, but this condition is not associated with hyperandrogenism. Elevated AMH is associated with PCOM in adolescents regardless of the criteria used to determine the ultrasonographic pattern.

Keywords: Adolescence; Anti-Müllerian hormone; Hyperandrogenism; Polycystic ovarian morphology; Polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Androgens / blood*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Ultrasonography


  • Androgens