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The diagnosis of PCOS in young infertile women according to different diagnostic criteria: the role of serum anti-Müllerian hormone

  • Gynecologic Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine
  • Published:
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To diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in young infertile women using different diagnostic criteria. To define serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) cutoff values for PCOS definition. To investigate the correlation between AMH and body mass index (BMI).


Retrospective case–control study. A total of 140 infertile women (age 21–35 years) were enrolled. PCOS was defined according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) criteria, the Rotterdam consensus criteria and the Androgen Excess and PCOS Society (AE-PCOS) criteria. ROC curve analysis was performed to define AMH thresholds for PCOS definition according to the three different diagnostic criteria. Correlation between AMH and BMI was investigated.


The prevalence of PCOS under the NIH criteria, the Rotterdam criteria and the AE-PCOS criteria was 27.1, 40 and 29.3%, respectively. The optimal thresholds of AMH to distinguish NIH PCOS from infertile controls was 5.20 ng/ml (AUC = 0.86, sensitivity 79%, specificity 80%); the best cutoff to detect Rotterdam PCOS was 4.57 ng/ml (AUC = 0.85, sensitivity 78%, specificity 81%); a cutoff of 4.85 ng/ml (AUC = 0.85, sensitivity 80%, specificity 78%) defined PCOS women according to AE-PCOS criteria. The prevalence of the syndrome became 37.1, 44.3 and 39.2% according to the three criteria, respectively, using AMH threshold between 4.57 and 5.20 ng/ml as an alternative to antral follicle count and/or hyperandrogenism.


Anti-Müllerian hormone may reconcile the three diagnostic criteria and allow the PCOS diagnosis in women with mild symptoms. No significant correlation was found between AMH and BMI in PCOS women and controls.

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This retrospective study was not funded.

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Authors and Affiliations



L Casadei: Protocol/project development, data collection and management, data analysis, manuscript writing/editing. F Fanisio: Protocol/project development, data collection, data analysis, manuscript writing/editing. R P Sorge: Data analysis. M Collamarini: Data collection, manuscript writing/editing. E Piccolo: Data collection, manuscript writing/editing. E Piccione: Protocol/project development

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Correspondence to Luisa Casadei.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The Institutional Review Board of Tor Vergata University Hospital in accordance with Helsinki Declaration, approved the present study.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study for the processing of the sensitive data.

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Casadei, L., Fanisio, F., Sorge, R.P. et al. The diagnosis of PCOS in young infertile women according to different diagnostic criteria: the role of serum anti-Müllerian hormone. Arch Gynecol Obstet 298, 207–215 (2018).

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