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Hyperandrogenism, or androgen excess, is a medical condition characterized by excessive production and/or secretion of androgens.
It is one of the primary symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome. In such cases, it presents with symptoms such as acne or hyperseborrhea, is frequent in adolescent girls and is often associated with irregular menstrual cycles. In most instances, these symptoms are transient and reflect only the immaturity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis during the first years following menarche. Approximately three-quarters of patients with PCOS (by the diagnostic criteria of NIH/NICHD 1990) have evidence of hyperandrogenemia, with free testosterone being the single most predictive marker with ~60% of patients demonstrating supranormal levels.
In women, symptoms of hyperandrogenism frequently include acne, scalp hair loss (androgenic alopecia), excessive facial and body hair (hirsutism), high libido, and others. Collectively, these symptoms are known as virilization.
Management of hyperandrogenism symptoms like androgenic alopecia, include the use of antiandrogens or androgen blocker such as cyproterone, spirinolactone, flutamide [Tosti A, Camacho-Martinez F, Dawber R. Management of androgenetic alopecia. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 1999 May;12(3):205-14], [Diamanti-Kandarakis E. Current aspects of antiandrogen therapy in women. Curr Pharm Des. 1999;5(9):707-23],[Sinclair R, Wewerinke M, Jolley D.Treatment of female pattern hair loss with oral antiandrogens. Br J Dermatol. 2005 Mar;152(3):466-73], [Vierhapper H, Maier H, Nowotny P, Waldhäusl W. Production rates of testosterone and of dihydrotestosterone in female pattern hair loss. Metabolism. 2003 Jul;52(7):927-9].
- Christine Cortet-Rudelli, Didier Dewailly (Sep 21 2006). "Diagnosis of Hyperandrogenism in Female Adolescents". Hyperandrogenism in Adolescent Girls. Armenian Health Network, Health.am. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
- Huang A, Brennan K, Azziz R (April 2010). "Prevalence of hyperandrogenemia in the polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosed by the National Institutes of Health 1990 criteria". Fertil. Steril. 93 (6): 1938–41. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.12.138. PMC 2859983. PMID 19249030.
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