Frontiers of hormone research | 2019
Androgens and Severe Insulin Resistance States: Basic and Clinical Aspects.
Hyperandrogenism with or without polycystic ovary syndrome can be sustained by an extreme form of insulin resistance (IR), and is thus a secondary form of hyperandrogenism, which may be due to a defect in insulin signal transduction or in the adipose tissue. Severe IR due to adipose tissue dysfunction is the most frequent form, which may be the result of a deficiency in the adipose tissue, that is, the lipodystrophies, or to the unrestrained accumulation of adipose tissue. These forms are in some cases produced by a single-gene defect. The diagnosis remains predominantly clinical by examining patients in their underwear and looking out for clinical hallmarks, supported by biochemical biomarkers. Gene screening is necessary to corroborate the diagnosis of some forms. Clinicians who deal with hyperandrogenic disorders should be alerted to the forms that are secondary to severe IR, as they are not as uncommon as often imagined and frequently respond to tailored therapies.