High Serum Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha Levels in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis

Citation: Gao L, Gu Y, Yin X (2016) High Serum Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha Levels in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE 11(10): e0164021. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164021
Published: October 20, 2016

The objective of the study is to assess the TNF-α levels in PCOS patients and healthy controls. A comprehensive electronic search in Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library database was conducted up to July 2016. Random-effects model was used to estimate the standardized mean differences (SMDs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Twenty-nine studies with a total of 1960 participants (1046 PCOS patients and 914 controls) were included in this meta-analysis. The TNF-α levels in PCOS patients were significantly higher than those in controls (random-effects, SMD = 0.60, 95% CI = 0.28–0.92, P<0.001). With regard to the subgroup analyses stratified by ethnicity, study quality, methods, and BMI, significantly high TNF-α levels were found in patients with PCOS in almost all of these subgroups. In the subgroup stratified by HOMA-IR ratio and T ratio, significant differences were only observed in the subgroups with HOMA-IR ratio of >1.72(SMD = 0.967, 95% CI = 0.103–1.831, P = 0.028, I2 = 93.5%) and T ratio >2.10 (SMD = 1.420, 95% CI = 0.429–2.411, P = 0.005, I2 = 96.1%). By meta-regression it was suggested that ethnicity might contribute little to the heterogeneity between the included studies. Through cumulative meta-analysis and sensitivity analysis it was supposed that the higher TNF-α levels of PCOS patients compared to healthy controls was stable and reliable. This meta-analysis suggests that the circulating TNF-α levels in women with PCOS are significantly higher than those in healthy controls. It may be involved in promoting insulin resistance and androgen excess of PCOS.


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This entry was posted in Ob/Gyn, Ob/Gyn Featured 2, Women's Health and tagged , , .

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