Hyperandrogenemia in patients presenting with acne

Scott M. Slayden, Carlos Moran, W. Mitchell Sams, Larry R. Boots, Ricardo Azziz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether acne is associated with hyperandrogenemia, regardless of age of presentation. Design: Prospective controlled study.Setting: Tertiary-care medical center. Patient(s): Thirty consecutive unselected women presenting with acne and no hirsutism and 24 eumenorrheic healthy controls. Intervention(s): Serum samples was taken in all patients, and an acute 60-minute ACTH-(1-24) test was performed in 19 patients. Main Outcome Measure(s): Total and free T, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and DHEAS levels in basal samples, and ACTH-stimulated 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-HP) response to exclude 21-hydroxylase (21-OH)-deficient nonclassic adrenal hyperplasia (NCAH) were determined. Result(s): Nonhirsute patients with acne demonstrated significantly lower levels of SHBG and higher free-T and DHEAS levels than controls. Nineteen (63%) acneic patients had at least one androgen value above the 95% of controls. In patients aged 12-18 years, 7/8 (88%) had at least one increased androgen value, compared with 12/22 (55%) patients aged 19-43 years. One patient (5.3%) was found to have 21-OH-deficient NCAH. Conclusion(s): Hyperandrogenemia was evident in a majority of nonhirsute acneic patients studied, regardless of age. These data suggest that androgen suppression may be useful in treating acne in many of these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-892
Number of pages4
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


  • ACTH
  • Acne
  • Adrenal hyperplasia
  • Androgens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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