Ultrasonographic patterns of polycystic ovaries: color Doppler and hormonal correlations



Ultrasound has been used in the identification of two different morphological patterns of polycystic ovaries, namely a peripheral cystic pattern and a general cystic pattern. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether patients with the peripheral form of polycystic ovaries showed different ovarian and uterine blood flow from those with the general form, and to investigate whether there was a correlation between the forms and different hormonal parameters.

Eighteen patients with the general form and 16 patients with the peripheral form of polycystic ovary underwent clinical, biochemical, gray-scale and color Doppler ultra-sonographic evaluation. The parameters analyzed confirmed polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in all patients. Individual levels of plasma luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone, andro-stenedione and estradiol did not differ between the groups. However, there was a significantly higher LH/FSH ratio and a greater stromal echodensity in the peripheral cystic group than in the general cystic group. Doppler ultrasonography demonstrated significantly lower pulsatility index values in the intraovarian arteries of the peripheral cystic group and a higher rate of visualization of these arteries than in the general cystic group.

These findings suggest that, apart from the LH/FSH ratio, the different morphological types of polycystic ovary do not reflect differences in endocrine profile. The differences in blood flow demonstrated by Doppler assessment in each case, however, showed that PCOS does not predetermine a single intraovarian blood flow pattern. Copyright © 1998 International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology