Ovarian stromal echogenicity in women with normal and polycystic ovaries

W. M. Buckett, R. Bouzayen, K. L. Watkin, T. Tulandi, S. L. Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the widespread use of transvaginal ultrasound to diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a cardinal feature has been shown to be the presence of a bright, highly echogenic stroma. This is usually assessed subjectively. The objective of this study was to determine whether ovarian stromal echogenicity when measured objectively actually differed between women with polycystic ovaries and those with normal ovaries. A total of 67 women underwent a detailed ultrasound assessment before considering assisted conception treatment. Ovarian morphology was assessed and total ovarian volume, stromal volume, peak stromal blood flow velocity and mean stromal echogenicity were measured. The stromal index (ratio of mean stromal echogenicity to mean echogenicity of the entire ovary) and total stromal echogenicity were also calculated. Ovarian volume, stromal volume, and stromal peak blood flow velocity were all significantly higher in ovaries from women with PCOS. There was no difference in the mean stromal echogenicity, although the stromal index was significantly greater in women with polycystic ovaries. The apparent subjective increase in stromal echogenicity in women with polycystic ovaries, as exemplified by the greater stromal index, is due to a combination of the increased volume of ovarian stroma and the significantly lower mean echogenicity of the entire ovary in these women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)618-621
Number of pages4
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Echogenicity
  • Ovary
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Stroma
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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