Acne is known to be one of the features of hyperandrogenism. The aim of the present work was to study women with persistent acne and without other evidence of hyperandrogenism, such as hirsutism, alopecia, or irregular menses. Among 87 female patients with acne and/or hirsutism, we defined three groups: group 1 (n = 29), patients having treatment-resistant acne without menstrual disturbance, alopecia, or hirsutism; group 2 (n = 27), patients with acne and hirsutism; and group 3 (n = 31), patients with hirsutism alone. Clinical chemistry criteria for hyperandrogenism were based on elevated values of one or more of the following parameters: plasma testosterone, delta-4-androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone, urinary 5 alpha-androstane 3 alpha-17 beta-diol, and 17-ketosteroids (with chromatography). Plasma and urine samples were drawn between the 18th and 25th days of the cycle. Among group 1 patients, we found 25 subjects (86%) with hyperandrogenism, according to these laboratory criteria. The etiologies were: polycystic ovary syndrome (36%), adrenal hypersecretion (40%, of which 12% showed secondary polycystic ovaries), isolated increase in 5 alpha-androstane 3 alpha-17 beta-diol (20%), and hyperandrogenism without diagnosis (4%). The parameters were found to be more elevated in these patients than in a control group of 30 normal volunteer women. In groups 2 and 3, the findings were essentially the same as in group 1, except for increased levels of testosterone and the testosterone/SHBG ratio. Furthermore, it was evident that persistent acne may be an isolated sign of hyperandrogenism.
Vexiau P, Husson C, Chivot M, Brerault JL, Fiet J, Julien R, Villette JM, Hardy N, Cathelineau G