Author(s): Picn MJ, Lara JI, Gonzalo MA, Rovira A
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to prove the utility of GnRH analogues for the suppression of androgen secretion in a postmenopausal woman with a suspected virilizing ovarian tumour. DESIGN AND METHODS: We present a case of a 72-year-old woman with virilization of recent onset. Hormonal studies revealed a fourfold increase in serum testosterone levels, normal dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate concentrations and high levels of serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone levels. Computed axial tomography scan of the ovaries was normal and the adrenal glands showed a discrete enlargement. The long-acting GnRH analogue, triptorelin, was injected initially (3.75mg i.m.) and serum hormone levels were measured weekly throughout one month. RESULTS: GnRH produced a decrease in serum testosterone levels to normal values, in parallel with the suppression of serum LH and FSH concentrations. The patient was treated for three months with triptorelin and she experienced an amelioration of the hyperandrogenic symptoms. In order to achieve a diagnosis, the patient was submitted to a laparotomy that revealed a small hilus cell tumour in the left ovary. CONCLUSION: GnRH analogues may offer a good therapeutic option in some states of gonadotrophin-dependent hyperandrogenism of ovarian origin.