Primary Ovarian Insufficiency due to Steroidogenic Cell Autoimmunity Is Associated with a Preserved Pool of Functioning Follicles

Mother-Infant Department, Section of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41100 Modena, Italy.
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (Impact Factor: 6.31). 08/2009; 94(10):3816-23. DOI: 10.1210/jc.2009-0817
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) is defined as hypergonadotropic amenorrhea before the age of 40 yr. In 4-5% of patients with POI, an ovarian autoimmune process is present.
Serum concentrations of antimüllerian hormone (AMH) have been determined in 26 women with POI due to steroidogenic cell autoimmunity (SCA-POI), 66 with nonautoimmune idiopathic POI (iPOI), 40 postmenopausal women (PMW), and 44 healthy fertile women (HW). SCA-POI was diagnosed according to presence of steroidogenic enzyme autoantibodies (17alpha-hydroxylase, side chain cleavage, and 21-hydroxylase autoantibodies).
AMH concentrations were significantly higher in women with SCA-POI than women with iPOI (P = 0.018) or PMW (P = 0.03) but significantly lower than HW (P < 0.0001). AMH was detected in 11 of 26 women with SCA-POI (42%) and seven of 66 with iPOI (11%) (P = 0.002). Serum concentrations above the fifth percentile of the normal range (0.6 ng/ml) were detected in nine of 26 women with SCA-POI (35%) and four of 66 with iPOI (6%) (P = 0.001). Eight of 12 women with SCA-POI with less than 5 yr (67%) and one of 14 with longer disease duration (7%) had AMH concentrations within the normal range (P = 0.003). AMH concentrations correlated inversely with disease duration in women with SCA-POI (rho = -0.563, P = 0.003) but not women with iPOI. AMH correlated inversely with FSH serum concentrations in HW (rho = -0.584, P < 0.001) but not PMW or women with POI.
Two thirds of women with recent-onset SCA-POI had normal AMH concentrations. Women with SCA-POI, differently from those with iPOI, present a preserved ovarian follicle pool for several years after diagnosis of ovarian insufficiency.