Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Molecular & Clinical Diagnostics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Researcher Alters how Ovarian Syndrome is Diagnosed

Published: Friday, December 06, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, December 06, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Having multiple ovarian follicles is the leading cause of infertility in America, yet we may be going about its diagnosis wrongly.

Reproductive physiologist Marla Lujan, assistant professor in nutritional sciences who studies the causes, diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), has found that the guidelines used to diagnose the disorder have not kept up with advancements in ultrasound technology.

Her analysis – reported in two studies co-authored by Jacob Christ ’13 and three other students in the May issue of Human Reproduction and the upcoming issue of Fertility and Sterility – may lead to a new set of protocols and diagnostic thresholds.

When ultrasound was first introduced as a key diagnostic tool for PCOS a decade ago, doctors were advised to count the number of follicles that are characteristically found in polycystic ovaries; more than 12 per ovary was considered the threshold, as per the work of French scientist Didier Dewailly.

But Lujan was finding that healthy women commonly had 12 follicles per ovary, with no other indication of PCOS, a multifaceted syndrome that can produce menstrual aberrations, lack of ovulation, high levels of masculinizing hormones and metabolic disorders.

She wondered if improved imaging equipment was leading to finer follicle detection and whether the threshold should be raised accordingly. Her study on 142 women – 82 with PCOS, 60 without – and a review of a decade’s worth of literature and case studies, led to her conclusion that the threshold should be 26 follicles per ovary.

“We are able to see many more follicles than ever before. The old recommendations were an artifact of old technology,” Lujan said.

Lujan’s new recommendation – now backed by Dewailly – will be presented to an international consortium as part of the Androgen Excess and PCOS Society’s recommendations for the revised definition and significance of polycystic ovarian morphology.

“We don’t know what effect it will have on the number of women being diagnosed with PCOS, which is on the rise,” Lujan said. “Because of PCOS’s association with obesity, I think the upward trend still exists, but the number of healthy women flagged with the syndrome should come down. That has many implications, including access to care.”

Lujan hopes the revised threshold will provide more reliable, nuanced data that will help not only patients and clinicians, but also researchers. PCOS patients seem to experience different mixes of symptoms, of varying severity, and Lujan studies it as a spectrum disorder, exploring whether risks, prognosis and treatments should differ accordingly.

“Right now PCOS patients are all thrown into the same bag,” Lujan said. “At least moving forward, we will have better metrics to make decisions on what the actual spectrum for PCOS is.”

In trying to understand the causes of PCOS, Lujan would also benefit from more data from the age of its onset: puberty. She hopes to begin studies on adolescents – both healthy and those suspected to be at risk – but that may require different diagnostic thresholds, which have yet to be developed.

“There is a real need to define numbers for adolescents and older women,” Lujan said.

Other co-authors on the papers, “Follicle Number, Not Assessments of the Ovarian Stroma, Represents the Best Ultrasonographic Marker of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome” and “Updated Ultrasound Criteria for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Reliable Thresholds for Elevated Follicle Population and Ovarian Volume,” are Eric Brooks ’10, Brittany Jarrett ’13, graduate student Amy Willis and research support specialist Heidi Vanden Brink.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

$1M NIH Grant to Refine PCR Based Cancer Test
Researchers at Cornell University, Weill Cornell Medicine, the University of California, San Francisco, and the Infectious Diseases Institute in Kampala, Uganda, recieve a four-year, $1 million grant to hone technology for a quick, in-the-field diagnosis of Kaposi's sarcoma — a cancer frequently related to HIV infections.
Friday, September 02, 2016
Scientific News
Point of Care Diagnostics - A Cautious Revolution
Advances in molecular biology, coupled with the miniaturization and improved sensitivity of assays and devices in general, have enabled a new wave of point-of-care (POC) or “bedside” diagnostics.
ReadCoor Launched to Commercialize 3D Sequencing Tech
ReadCoor will leverage the Wyss Institute’s method for simultaneously sequencing and mapping RNAs within cells and tissues to advance development of diagnostics.
Crispr Toolbox Expanded By Protein
Researchers have shown a newly discovered CRISPR protein has two distinct RNA cutting activities.
Heart Arrhythmia Caused by Mosaic of Mutant Cells
Researchers have solved the genetic mystery of an infant suffering from heart arrhythmia.
Over Two-Thirds of Cervical Cancer Deaths Prevented
Cervical screening prevents 70% of cervical cancer deaths and if all eligible women regularly attended screening this would rise to 83%.
Detecting Bacterial Infections in Newborns
Researchers tested an alternative way to diagnose bacterial infections in infants—by analyzing RNA biosignatures from a small blood sample.
Case for Liquid Biopsies Builds in Advanced Lung Cancer
Study addresses unmet need for better, non-invasive tests called out in recent "Moonshot" blue ribbon panel report
Mechanisms of Parkinson’s Pathology
Defects that lead to cells’ failure to decommission faulty mitochondria cause nerve cells to die, triggering the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Genetic Misdiagnoses of Heart Condition
Analysis found several genetic variations previously linked with a heart condition were harmless, leading to condition misdiagnosis.
Opening Door to Oesophageal Cancer Targeted Treatments
Scientists have discovered that oesophageal cancer can be classified into three different subtypes.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!