Primary hypothyroidism associated with multicystic ovaries and ovarian torsion in an adult

Obstet Gynecol. 1994 May;83(5 Pt 2):885-7.


Background: Primary hypothyroidism is known to be associated with multicystic ovaries in juvenile females, but this association has been reported only once previously in an adult. This report describes an unusual case of bilateral multicystic ovaries occurring in an adult patient with profound hypothyroidism.

Case: A 26-year-old woman presented with an acute abdomen and bilateral adnexal masses. An emergency exploratory laparotomy revealed bilateral enlarged multicystic ovaries with torsion of the right ovary. Because this ovary was necrotic, it was removed; pathology revealed multiple hemorrhagic follicular cysts. Laboratory studies to evaluate the cause of the multicystic ovaries revealed negative serum beta-hCG, LH 0.7 IU/L, FSH 15.7 IU/L, and estradiol 80 pg/mL. The TSH value was greater than 50 IU/L and serum thyroxine was undetectable, demonstrating profound hypothyroidism. Subsequent thyroid hormone replacement was associated with resolution of the cysts in the remaining ovary.

Conclusion: Profound hypothyroidism can cause multicystic ovaries in an adult. In the absence of ovarian torsion, surgery can be avoided, as thyroid hormone replacement leads to clinical resolution of the cysts within 3 months.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / complications*
  • Ovarian Cysts / etiology*
  • Ovarian Diseases / etiology*
  • Torsion Abnormality