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The authors report a case of Leydig cell tumor in a 46-year-old woman who first presented with severe clinical hyperandrogenism and associated complex medical history. Investigations revealed markedly raised serum concentrations of testosterone (28.3 nmol/l) and free androgen index (54.4), whereas sex hormone binding globulin, random cortisol, androstenedione, 17-hydroxyprogesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate concentrations were all within the normal range. Transabdominal ultrasound and computed tomography scan of the pelvis and abdomen showed a slightly bulky right ovary, but no other abnormalities. An ovarian source of androgens was suspected and surgery was arranged. Following a three-year history of defaulting appointments due to agoraphobia, she underwent total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and intraoperative selective ovarian venous sampling. Histopathological examination revealed a 2 cm Leydig cell tumor within the right ovary. Successful intraoperative ovarian venous sampling demonstrated significantly elevated testosterone levels (>260 nmol/l) from the right ovarian vein. Hyperandrogenaemia normalized post-operatively. The patient showed significant regression of clinical signs and symptoms, including the anxiety disorder. Clinical presentation, biochemistry and imaging modalities should allow to detect androgen-secreting ovarian tumors, while selective venous sampling should be reserved for patients whom uncertainty remains. The present case confirms that androgen-secreting ovarian tumors represent a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. They have to be considered in the differential diagnosis of severe hyperandrogenism even in peri-menopausal women. Although selective venous sampling is of diagnostic value, however, its impact on future management should be considered on individual basis.

Original publication




Journal article


Gynecol Endocrinol

Publication Date





238 - 241


Androgens, Fallopian Tubes, Female, Humans, Hyperandrogenism, Hysterectomy, Leydig Cell Tumor, Middle Aged, Ovarian Neoplasms, Ovariectomy, Ovary, Testosterone, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Ultrasonography, Veins, Virilism