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Case report
Hyperandrogenism, insulin resistance and acanthosis nigricans (HAIR-AN syndrome): an extreme subphenotype of polycystic ovary syndrome


HAIR-AN—a syndrome of hyperandrogenism (HA), insulin resistance (IR) and acanthosis nigricans (AN)—is a specific subphenotype of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and it is seen in almost 5% of all women with hyperandrogenism. An adolescent girl aged 11 years old was referred with adrenarche, hyperandrogenism and obesity commencing at age 8. Clinical and biochemical investigations confirmed significant hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance, and a diagnosis of HAIR-AN syndrome was made after exclusion of other differential diagnoses. HAIR-AN syndrome is an important diagnosis for the adolescent gynaecologist to be aware of, and it requires a multidisciplinary approach, including endocrinology input, for optimal management. Weight loss, lifestyle modification and combined hormonal pill and metformin are considered first-line treatment.

  • obstetrics and gynaecology
  • metabolic disorders

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