Premature Ovarian Failure: An Association with Autoimmune Diseases QC10-QC12
301 Shalimar Estate Apartments, New Hyderabad-226007, Lucknow, UP, India.
Introduction: Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) is the cessation of ovarian function before the age of 40 years. POF is reported to be associated with autoimmune diseases in 20-30% of cases.
Aim: Patients presenting with idiopathic POF were screened for the presence of autoimmune disorders.
Materials and Methods: Twenty patients with idiopathic POF were included in the study. Baseline investigation in all subjects included fasting serum FSH, LH, E2, progesterone, free T3, free T4, Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and Anti-Thyroperoxidase (anti-TPO) antibodies, testosterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEAS) levels. Fasting and post-glucose (2 hours after 75g of oral glucose) serum calcium and phosphate were estimated using appropriate assays in biochemistry laboratory.
Results: Seven patients (35%), who presented with secondary amenorrhea, had thyroid disorders and were already on thyroxine replacement therapy. One patient also had vitiligo. There was no history of adrenal disorder. Anti-TPO levels were elevated in two (10%) patients of secondary amenorrhea group. The levels of serum testosterone were low in three patients. Serum DHEAS levels were low in 13 patients. Blood sugar levels (fasting and 2 hour post 75g glucose load) and fasting insulin levels were normal. Serum calcium and phosphate levels were normal in all the patients.
Conclusion: Thyroid autoimmunity is the most common autoimmune disease associated with POF. The finding of low DHEAS in a large percentage of patients (65%), suggests possibility of adrenal dysfunction. This requires further testing for adrenal reserve and adrenal autoantibodies.