Ultrasonography can be used to characterize the ovaries of a woman being evaluated for the polycystic ovary syndrome.


Restrictions -The evaluation of an ovary should be deferred in:

(1) a woman taking oral contraceptives (modifies ovarian morphology)

(2) presence of a dominant follicular cyst (defined as > 10 mm; defer to next menstrual cycle)

(3) presence of a corpus luteum (defer to next menstrual cycle)



(1) number of cysts in the different planes

(2) volume of each ovary


Criteria for polycystic ovary - one of the following:

(1) volume of one ovary > 10 mL

(2) presence of >= 12 cysts measuring 2-9 mm in diameter in a single plane in a single ovary



• There is a gap between 9 mm and > 10 mm. Welt et al use >= 10 cysts 2-10 mm in diameter.

• In the Rotterdam 2003 consensus on page 43, column 2, it applies the >= 12 cysts "in each ovary". Later in the same column it says "only one ovary fitting this definition is sufficient"; this is given immediately after a mention of a woman taking oral contraceptives.

• An ovarian volume > 10 mL correlates with increased ovarian stroma.

• A peripheral distribution of cysts is not a criteria.


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