Autoimmune disease may affect the ovary and can result in premature ovarian failure.


Clinical features:

(1) The patient may have Addison’s disease or other autoimmune disorders (Sjogren’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, etc).

(2) The patient may have oligomenorrhea, amenorrhea or abnormal bleeding.

(3) Multiple follicular cysts may be present, associated with pelvic pain and/or torsion.

(4) Premature ovarian failure with infertility.


Laboratory findings:

(1) antibodies to cells producing steroid hormones

(2) antibodies to ovarian and adrenal steroidgenic enzymes

(3) serum FSH levels are elevated

(4) serum levels of estradiol may be low

(5) serum levels of inhibin A and B are normal to elevated


A biopsy of the ovary may show:

(1) a mononuclear cell infiltrate (lymphocytes, plasma cells), especially around theca cells

(2) reduced numbers of follicles

(3) fibrosis and/or multiple cysts


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