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Open Access Commentary

Medical hypothesis: can gonadotropins influence thyroid volume in women with PCOS?

Evrim Cakir1*, Mustafa Sahin2, Erman Cakal3, Mustafa Ozbek3 and Tuncay Delibasi3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Amasya Sabuncuoglu Serefettin Hospital, Amasya, Turkey

2 Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Ankara University Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

3 Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

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Thyroid Research 2012, 5:17  doi:10.1186/1756-6614-5-17

Published: 29 November 2012

Abstract

It has been reported that luteinizing hormone (LH) had thyropropic effect on rat and human thyroid membrane. It has been known that patients with PCOS have elevated LH levels in comparison to healthy controls.

The goiter prevalence is more common in women than in men regardless of population. The higher incidence of thyroid diseases in women has been previously attributed to higher estradiol levels. Estradiol has been shown to enhance proliferative and mitogenic activities of thyroid cells. However, in recent years chronic estradiol treatment has been shown to reduce volume densities of thyroid follicles, follicular epithelium and thyroid gland volume. It is thought to be due to LH suppression.

Therefore we suggested that increased LH levels might provide a stimulus for growth on thyroid and alter thyroid function. Therefore patients with PCOS who had elevated LH levels should be treated by combined estradiol pills such as estrogen-progestin contraceptives for suppression of LH secretion. Further studies are needed to evaluate the association between LH, LH suppression and thyroid volume in patients with PCOS.

Keywords:
Thyroid volume; Luteinizing hormone; Polycystic ovary syndrome