Hepatic manifestations of women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Mei Jou Chen, Hong Nerng Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have a higher prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) than the general population. The link between NAFLD/NASH and PCOS is not just a coincidence. Indeed, both of these disorders comprise common risk factors, including central obesity, insulin resistance, chronic low-grade inflammation, and hyperandrogenemia. The characteristics of hyperandrogenemia in women with PCOS include elevated total and free testosterone levels and low sex hormone-binding globulin levels and are reported to be associated with NAFLD and elevated liver enzymes; however, not all elevated androgen levels in women with PCOS have the same adverse effects on the liver. With the exception of weight loss and encouraging exercise in obese women, few evidence-based effective treatments target NAFLD/NASH in women with PCOS. Selective antiandrogens and insulin sensitizers might be beneficial in treating NAFLD/NASH in women with PCOS, but further elucidation is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-128
Number of pages10
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • androgen
  • hepatic steatosis
  • liver enzyme
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • polycystic ovary syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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