Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate and compare MRI-based ovarian morphology in groups of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and controls. METHODS: All PCOS cases (n = 44) had oligo-amenorrhoea and hyperandrogenism irrespective of ovarian morphology, and fulfilled NIH/Rotterdam diagnostic criteria for PCOS. All control women (n = 40) had normal menses and normoandrogenaemia. All subjects were of white British/Irish origin and pre-menopausal. Group comparisons were based on independent-sample t tests. Polycystic ovarian morphology was defined by at least 12 follicles 2-9 mm in diameter and/or an ovarian volume greater than 10 cm(3). RESULTS: Ovarian morphology differed significantly in PCOS cases and controls (follicle number geometric mean [SD range] 18.6 [9.9, 35.0] vs 6.6 [3.1, 14.2], unadjusted P = 1.3 x 10(-16); calculated ovarian volume 8.8 cm(3) [5.0, 15.5] vs 5.1 cm(3) [2.5, 10.3], unadjusted P = 3.0 x 10(-7); peripheral follicle location in 55% vs 18% of ovaries, P = 7.9 x 10(-6); visible central ovarian stroma in 61% vs 24% of ovaries, P = 2.3 x 10(-5)). Follicle number and calculated ovarian volume were not concordant with clinical/biochemical assignment of PCOS/control status in 36 (23%) and 52 (34%) of ovaries, respectively. CONCLUSION: Ovarian morphology overlaps in PCOS cases and controls, emphasising the importance of considering clinical/biochemical presentation together with imaging ovarian morphology in the diagnosis of PCOS.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Radiol

Publication Date





1207 - 1213


Adolescent, Adult, Biomarkers, Case-Control Studies, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Middle Aged, Ovarian Follicle, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Premenopause