Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrinologic condition affecting one in five women of reproductive age. PCOS is often characterized by disruptions to the menstrual cycle, development of male-pattern hair growth (hirsutism), and polycystic ovary morphology. Recently, PCOS has been linked to metabolic dysfunction, with 40 to 80% of women characterized as overweight or obese. Despite these well-known negative health effects of PCOS, 75% of sufferers remain undiagnosed. This is most likely due to the variability in symptom presentation and the lack of a definitive test for the condition. Metabolomics, which is a platform used to analyze and characterize a large number of metabolites, has recently been proposed as a potential tool for investigating the metabolic pathways that could be involved in the pathophysiology of PCOS. In doing so, novel biomarkers could be identified to improve diagnosis and treatment of PCOS. This review aims to summarize the findings of recent metabolomic studies that highlight metabolic-specific molecules which are deranged in PCOS, to identify potential biomarkers for the condition. Current limitations for metabolomic studies are discussed, as well as future directions to progress the field toward further validation and integration into clinical practice.
Thieme. All rights reserved.