DOI: jcem.76.5.8496299 PMID: 8496299
Increased androgen production from the ovary, adrenal or locally in skin has been implicated in the pathogenesis of acne. Recent data have provided evidence that androsterone (Ao) metabolism is exaggerated in acne and serum metabolites of Ao differentiate between acne and hirsutism in hyperandrogenic women. Here we have extended these studies to normoandrogenic women who have moderate to severe acne. We measured serum ovarian and adrenal androgens as well as the glucuronide and sulfate metabolites of Ao and 3 alpha-androstanediol which reflect, in part, peripheral androgen action. In a group of 15 well-selected normoandrogenic patients with acne, both serum Ao glucuronide (G) and Ao were elevated (P < 0.01; P < 0.05). The ratios of Ao G to androgen precursors of both ovarian and adrenal origin were elevated as was the ratio of Ao G/Ao (P < 0.05). These data suggest that increased Ao metabolism is a specific abnormality found in both normoandrogenic and hyperandrogenic women with acne. Our findings also provide a rationale for antiandrogen therapy at least in some normoandrogenic women with acne.
Carmina E, Lobo RA