Polycystic ovary syndrome and severe nonalcoholic steatohepatitis: beneficial effect of modest weight loss and exercise on liver biopsy findings.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: To report a case of biopsy-documented nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which improved appreciably through moderate exercise and weight loss in a young woman with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and insulin resistance. METHODS: We present a detailed case report, including laboratory and pathologic findings. In addition, we review the recent literature regarding the association of insulin resistance with NASH and PCOS. RESULTS: A 24-year-old woman was referred to the Duke Gastroenterology Clinic for evaluation of long-term high serum aminotransferase levels. She also reported a history of chronically irregular menses, infertility, and hirsutism and was diagnosed with PCOS. Subsequent glucose tolerance testing suggested the presence of insulin resistance. Liver biopsy findings were consistent with severe nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Under the supervision of her physician and an exercise physiologist, the patient initiated a diet and exercise program that resulted in an 11.5% weight loss during approximately 8 months and yielded normalization of her aminotransferase levels. A repeat liver biopsy done 13 months after the initial biopsy revealed a substantial decrease in steatosis and a reduction in inflammation. CONCLUSION: Women with PCOS and insulin resistance have an increased risk of developing many of the consequences of the dysmetabolic syndrome, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. This case report suggests that fatty liver and NASH may be other important diseases to identify in such women. It also demonstrates the improvement in this condition with moderate exercise and weight loss.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brown, AJ; Tendler, DA; McMurray, RG; Setji, TL

Published Date

  • September 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 319 - 324

PubMed ID

  • 16191492

Pubmed Central ID

  • 16191492

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1530-891X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4158/EP.11.5.319


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States