Author(s): Gleicher N, Weghofer A, Oktay K, Barad D
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Abstract BACKGROUND: It is unknown whether etiologies differ between milder forms of premature ovarian senescence (the acronym given here 'premature ovarian aging, POA'), and premature ovarian failure (POF). METHODS: We assessed presumed pathophysiologies in 74 consecutive POA patients, diagnosed based on elevated age-specific baseline follicle stimulating hormone and/or abnormally low anti-Müllerian hormone levels (<1.5 ng/ml). A genetic etiology was presumed with > or = 34 triple CGG expansions on the FMR1 gene. An autoimmune etiology was assumed with at least one abnormality in a laboratory panel, involving antinuclear, antiphospholipid and thyroid antibodies, total immunoglobulin levels and anti-ovarian as well as anti-adrenal autoantibodies. A combined etiology was presumed with both autoimmune and genetic etiologies, and a patient was considered idiopathic when no abnormalities were found. RESULTS: Twelve of 74 (16.2\%) women demonstrated a genetic, 28 (37.8\%) an autoimmune, 9 (12.2\%) combined and 25 (33.8\%) idiopathic etiologies. CONCLUSIONS: Presumed underlying etiologies with POA follow a similar distribution pattern as reported for POF. POA and POF may, therefore, represent a continuum in phenotypical expression of different etiologies of premature ovarian senescence. Like POF, POA should be considered reason to investigate underlying etiologies.
This article was published in Hum Reprod
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine