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The local effects of ovarian diathermy in an ovine model of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Shen, Wei; Connolly, Fiona; Rae, Mick T; Butler, Mairead; Klibanov, Alexander L; Sboros, Vassilis; McNeilly, Alan S; Duncan, W Colin


Wei Shen

Fiona Connolly

Mairead Butler

Alexander L Klibanov

Vassilis Sboros

Alan S McNeilly

W Colin Duncan


In order to develop a medical alternative to surgical ovarian diathermy (OD) in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) more mechanistic information is required about OD. We therefore studied the cellular, molecular and vascular effects of diathermy on the ovary using an established ovine model of PCOS. Pregnant sheep were treated twice weekly with testosterone propionate (100 mg) from day 30–100 gestation. Their female offspring (n = 12) were studied during their second breeding season when the PCOS-like phenotype, with anovulation, is fully manifest. In one group (n = 4) one ovary underwent diathermy and it was collected and compared to the contralateral ovary after 24 hours. In another group a treatment PCOS cohort underwent diathermy (n = 4) and the ovaries were collected and compared to the control PCOS cohort (n = 4) after 5 weeks. Ovarian vascular indices were measured using contrast-enhanced ultrasound and colour Doppler before, immediately after, 24 hours and five weeks after diathermy. Antral follicles were assessed by immunohistochemistry and ovarian stromal gene expression by quantitative RT-PCR 24 hours and 5 weeks after diathermy. Diathermy increased follicular atresia (P<0.05) and reduced antral follicle numbers after 5 weeks (P<0.05). There was an increase in stromal CCL2 expression 24 hours after diathermy (P<0.01) but no alteration in inflammatory indices at 5 weeks. Immediately after diathermy there was increased microbubble transit time in the ovarian microvasculature (P = 0.05) but this was not seen at 24 hours. However 24 hours after diathermy there was a reduction in the stromal Doppler blood flow signal (P<0.05) and an increased ovarian resistance index (P<0.05) both of which persisted at 5 weeks (P<0.01; P<0.05). In the ovine model of PCOS, OD causes a sustained reduction in ovarian stromal blood flow with an increased ovarian artery resistance index associated with atresia of antral follicles.


Shen, W., Connolly, F., Rae, M. T., Butler, M., Klibanov, A. L., Sboros, V., …Duncan, W. C. (2014). The local effects of ovarian diathermy in an ovine model of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. PLOS ONE, 9, Article e111280.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 30, 2014
Online Publication Date Oct 24, 2014
Publication Date Oct 24, 2014
Deposit Date Oct 28, 2014
Publicly Available Date Oct 28, 2014
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Article Number e111280
Keywords surgical ovarian diathermy; OD; polycystic ovary syndrome; PCOS; Antral follicles
Public URL
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