Grading of hirsutism based on the Ferriman-Gallwey scoring system in Kosovar women

Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2018 Dec;35(6):631-635. doi: 10.5114/ada.2018.77615. Epub 2018 Nov 13.


Introduction: Hirsutism is defined as excess terminal hair that commonly appears in a male pattern in women.

Aim: To examine severity and distribution of hirsutism with Ferriman-Gallwey visual scoring system in hirsute women in Kosovo.

Material and methods: This prospective study included 160 women, 135 with hirsutism and 25 as a control group. The Ferriman-Gallwey score is used to evaluate hirsutism. The examiner scored the subjects on a scale of 0-4 for terminal hair growth on eleven different body areas according to the Ferriman-Gallwey scoring system. An Ferriman-Gallwey score of 8 or more was considered diagnostic of hirsutism. A thorough physical examination with specific emphasis on signs of virilization (including frontal baldness, loss of female body contours, increased muscularity, acne, clitoromegaly, and atrophy of breast) was done in all patients.

Results: The positive family history of hirsutism was present in 63.7%. In 51.1% of women with hirsutism, the menstrual cycle was regular, 25.2% had oligomenorrhea, 13.3% amenorrhea, 7.4% dysmenorrhea, 1.5% polymenorrhea and 1.5% oligomenorrhea and dysmenorrhea. The age group with the highest scoring comprised women under 20 years and 20-29 years group with an average value of 23.9 and 24.8, respectively. In our study population, 40% of the patients had an Ferriman-Gallwey score of 3 for the upper lip and 47% of patients had an Ferriman-Gallwey score of 3 for the chin.

Conclusions: The Ferriman-Gallwey scoring system has a great significance and value to establish the diagnosis of hirsutism and is an acceptable screening method.

Keywords: Ferriman-Gallwey score; Kosovar women; hirsutism.