Evidence of luteinizing hormone secretion in hypothalamic amenorrhea associated with weight loss

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The lack of plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) pulsatile pattern or episodic LH secretory bursts during night have been demonstrated in hypothalamic amenorrhea. The availability of both sensitive and specific immunofluorimetric assay and algorithm for pulse detection enabled us to reanalyze the question of whether or not patients with hypothalamic amenorrhea secrete LH in a pulatile fashion. Seven women with secondary amenorrhea associated with weight loss and four normally cycling women were studed, sampling every 5 minutes for 8 hours. Control subjects were studied during four different phases of the menstrual cycle. In all amenorrheic patients, a frequent LH pulsatile secretion, with pulses of low amplitude, was found (10.7 ± 1.4 peaks/8 h; mean ± SEM). The pulse frequency was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than any phases of the control group (early follicular: 7 ± 0.4 peaks/8 h; late follicular: 6.8 ± 0.6 peaks/8 h; early luteal: 4.3 ± 0.4 peaks/8 h; late luteal: 7 ± 0.3 peaks/8 h). The LH pulsatile release in amenorrheic patients showed a mean pulse duration and amplitude shorter than in any phase of the menstrual cycle of the controls. In conclusion, in weight-loss-related-amenorrhea, the major change was not the absence of the LH pulsatile release but its increased frequency with reduced pulse amplitude.




Genazzani, A. D., Petraglia, F., Fabbri, G., Monzani, A., Montanini, V., & Genazzani, A. R. (1990). Evidence of luteinizing hormone secretion in hypothalamic amenorrhea associated with weight loss. Fertility and Sterility, 54(2), 222–226. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0015-0282(16)53693-0

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