Stein-Leventhal Syndrome

Other Known AliasesPolycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Definitionclinical syndrome of hyperandrogenism, oligoanovulation, and polycystic ovaries.

Clinical Significance PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility and should be investigated in women as part of the infertility workup. Women with PCOS can also have acne, hirsutism, menstrual irregularity, virilization, obesity, insulin-resistance, and metabolic syndrome. It is typically diagnosed in adolescents due to the phenotypic syndromic features.

HistoryNamed after Irving F. Stein, Sr. (1887-1976) and Michael L. Leventhal (1901-1971) and both received their medical doctorates from Rush Medical College in 1912 and 1924 respectively. Both met while practicing at Michael Reese Hospital in early to mid-1900s. They presented a case report of 7 cases of amenorrhea, hirsutism, obesity, and enlarged polycystic ovarias in 1934 at the Central Association of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. They published these findings one year later in 1935 in an article entitled “Amenorrhea associated with bilateral polycystic ovaries” in the Americal Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. It should be noted that Russian gynecologist S.K. Lesnoy first described polycystic ovaries in 1928, but not the complete syndrome.


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