Original Articles

By Prof. Rajiv R Mahendru , Dr. Amit Mittal , Dr. Geetinder Gaba
Corresponding Author Prof. Rajiv R Mahendru
Obs Gyn, MMIMSR, - India 134003
Submitting Author Prof. Rajiv R Mahendru
Other Authors Dr. Amit Mittal
Deptt. of Radiodiagnosis, M.M.I.M.S.R, Mullana,Ambala, Haryana , India - India

Dr. Geetinder Gaba
Deptt. of Obs and Gynae, M.M.I.M.S.R., Mullana,Ambala, Haryana , India - India


Ovarian Cyst, Hypothyroidism, Prepubertal

Mahendru RR, Mittal A, Gaba G. Is Hypothyroidism a Cause of Ovarian Cysts?- This Unusual Case Depicts So. WebmedCentral OBSTETRICS AND GYNAECOLOGY 2011;2(3):WMC001641
doi: 10.9754/journal.wmc.2011.001641
Submitted on: 01 Mar 2011 02:56:39 PM GMT
Published on: 07 Mar 2011 05:52:57 PM GMT


Presented in this report is apparently the first case of its kind in the medical literature where an 11 year old prepubescent girl who had co-existent presence of hypothyroidism and multiple large ovarian cysts not only had remarkable improvement in her physical appearance with conservative management with L-Thyroxine alone but also had disappearance of her large ovarian cysts without  the need of any surgical intervention, whatsoever.


Hardly any data is available as to the association of hypothyroidism and ovarian cysts. Till date, the mechanism of cyst formation in ovaries in patients of primary hypothyroidism remains unclear.1

Case Report

Written consent was taken from the patient (along with her guardians) and the Departmental Ethical  Committee approved this report. A case is presented of a female child aged 11 years, who reported with complaints of increasing obesity and lack of proper growth, lethargy, fatigue, lack of concentration in studies, with no history of menarche or precocious puberty. She had had pain in the pelvic area for last one week. Significant findings on General Physical examination were of stunted growth for her age with weak reflexes and   marked obesity (weight  44.5 Kilograms). Her per abdomen examination was normal and on per rectal  examination, uterus was apparentally of pre-pubertal size with bilateral cystic masses of the size of a tennis ball. Routine laboratory investigations were normal and Thyroid profile status revealed decreased T3 value of  0.25ng/ml and T4 value of 1ng/dl with markedly raised TSH value of 791.42IU/ml.   Radiographs of the skull and chest were normal On ultrasonography of thyroid and upper abdomen  no abnormality was detected while that of pelvis showed bilateral ovarian enlargement  with multi loculated cysts measuring  8cm x 7cm x 7cm in right ovary and 7cm x 7cm x 7cm on the left side with uterus being  of average prepubertal dimensions (Figure-1). The patient was put on oral L-Thyroxine, 50 mcg. On follow up, the patient started showing signs of improvement within a month as her weight started reducing while pelvic ultrasonography revealed regression in the size of the ovarian cysts. After five months of treatment, her weight was 28.0 kg, thyroid function tests within normal values  and marked reduction in the size of the ovarian cysts (Figure-2) and near normal size of the ovaries at one year. This patient is presently on regular treatment and follow-up.


Although  pathophysiology remains unclear, association of  multicystic ovarian disease with hypothyroidism has been described in literature2-4. Various mechanisms were postulated which included altered oestrogen metabolism, hypothalamo-pituitary dysfunction and deranged prolactin metabolism2. According to Anasti et al5  ovarian enlargement in severe hypothyroidism was probably due to stimulation of FSH receptors by unusually high TSH levels  proved to have a weak FSH like activity. Evers and Rolland3  confirmed that cross reaction of high TSH could produce FSH- and LH-like activity which might be responsible for the cyst formation in the ovaries. Likely mechanism of ovarian hyperstimulation with hypothyroidism in the present case appears to be mutation in FSH receptors that may further increase the sensitivity of FSH receptors to the TSH as proposed by Vasseur et al6 and Smith et al7. Merchline et al4 reported that in some cases there might be hyper secretion of one or the other trophic hormones by the pituitary in response to deficiency of one of the endocrine glands (as of  thyroid hormone), thereby, stimulating gonadotrophin release and hence FSH and LH leading to symptoms of precocious puberty with or without enlargement of the pituitary gland in response to an end organ deficiency.  Both precocious puberty and pituitary enlargement  were not to be seen in the case being discussed. With treatment of hypothyroidism alone, there was not only remarkable symptomatic improvement but also normalization of thyroid function tests and resolution of ovarian cysts as in the studies of Hansen et al2  and Yamashita et al8 and consequently no surgical intervention was warranted as reported by Bassam and Ajlouni1 and Merchline et al4.


In a prepubescent female whenever  large ovarian cysts are detected,  possibility of hypothyroidism should be kept as the diagnosis of this entity  is a guide for the conservative management by thyroid hormone replacement therapy as the ovarian cysts regress in size along with improvement in the symptoms of the patient, thereby, avoiding unwarranted surgical intervention.

Conflicts of interest: authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.



1. Bassam T and Ajlouni K. A case of ovarian enlargement in severe primary      hypothyroidism and review of literature. Ann Saudi Med 2006; 26: 66-7.
2. Hansen K, Tho S, Hanly M et al. Massive ovarian enlargement in primary hypothyroidism. Fertil Steril 1997; 67: 169-71.
3. Evers JL, Rolland R. Primary hypothyroidism and ovarian activity: evidence for overlap in the synthesis of pituitary glycoproteins- a Case report. BJOG 1981; 88: 195-202.
4. Merchline M, Riddlesberger Jr.,Jerald PK, Richard WM. The association of juvenile hypothyroidism and cystic ovaries. Radiology 1981; 139: 77-80.
5. Anasti JN, Flack MR, Froehlich J, Nelson LM, Nisula BC. A potential novel mechanism for precocious puberty in juvenile hypothyroidism. J clin Endocrinol Metab 1995; 80: 276-9.
6. Vasseur C, Rodien P, Beau I, Desroches A, Gerard C, de Poncheville L, Chaplot S, et al. A chorionic gonadotropin-sensitive mutation in the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor as a case of familial gestational spontaneous ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2003; 349: 753-9.
7. Smith G, Olalunbosun O, Delbaere A, Pierson R, Vassart G, Coslagliola S. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome due to a mutation in the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor. N Engl J Med. 2003; 349: 760-6.
8. Yamashita Y, Kawamura T, Fuzikawa R, Mochizuki H, Okubo M and Arita K. Regression of both pituitary and ovarian cysts after administration of thyroid hormone in a case of primary hypothyroidism. Internal Medicine 2001; 40: 751-5.
Figure-1.legend: ovarian cysts at the time of presentation  
Figure-2.Legend: marked reduction in the size of ovarian cysts with treatment

Source(s) of Funding


Competing Interests

No Competing Interests


This article has been downloaded from WebmedCentral. With our unique author driven post publication peer review, contents posted on this web portal do not undergo any prepublication peer or editorial review. It is completely the responsibility of the authors to ensure not only scientific and ethical standards of the manuscript but also its grammatical accuracy. Authors must ensure that they obtain all the necessary permissions before submitting any information that requires obtaining a consent or approval from a third party. Authors should also ensure not to submit any information which they do not have the copyright of or of which they have transferred the copyrights to a third party.
Contents on WebmedCentral are purely for biomedical researchers and scientists. They are not meant to cater to the needs of an individual patient. The web portal or any content(s) therein is neither designed to support, nor replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Your use of the WebmedCentral site and its contents is entirely at your own risk. We do not take any responsibility for any harm that you may suffer or inflict on a third person by following the contents of this website.

0 comments posted so far

Please use this functionality to flag objectionable, inappropriate, inaccurate, and offensive content to WebmedCentral Team and the authors.


Author Comments
0 comments posted so far


What is article Popularity?

Article popularity is calculated by considering the scores: age of the article
Popularity = (P - 1) / (T + 2)^1.5
P : points is the sum of individual scores, which includes article Views, Downloads, Reviews, Comments and their weightage

Scores   Weightage
Views Points X 1
Download Points X 2
Comment Points X 5
Review Points X 10
Points= sum(Views Points + Download Points + Comment Points + Review Points)
T : time since submission in hours.
P is subtracted by 1 to negate submitter's vote.
Age factor is (time since submission in hours plus two) to the power of 1.5.factor.

How Article Quality Works?

For each article Authors/Readers, Reviewers and WMC Editors can review/rate the articles. These ratings are used to determine Feedback Scores.

In most cases, article receive ratings in the range of 0 to 10. We calculate average of all the ratings and consider it as article quality.

Quality=Average(Authors/Readers Ratings + Reviewers Ratings + WMC Editor Ratings)