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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

DOI

10.1080/09513590500369005

Type

Journal article

Journal

Gynecol Endocrinol

Publication Date

10/2005

Volume

21

Pages

238 - 241

Keywords

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