You are currently viewing Achard-Thiers Syndrome :‎ Medical Notes & Mindmap

Achard-Thiers syndrome is a rare hormonal disorder that affects women, characterized by insulin resistance, high levels of androgens (male hormones) in the blood, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Women with Achard-Thiers syndrome may experience symptoms such as irregular menstrual periods, excess facial and body hair, acne, and difficulty getting pregnant.

Achard-Thiers Syndrome :‎ [MEDNOTES+MINDMAP]

  • Definition:

    • Rare endocrine disorder characterized by insulin-resistant diabetes mellitus, hirsutism, and virilization in women.
    • Also known as: Stein-Leventhal Syndrome, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Epidemiology:

    • Prevalence: 5-10% of women of reproductive age
    • Risk factors: obesity, family history of diabetes, high testosterone levels
  • Natural history:

    • Onset typically occurs in adolescence or early adulthood
    • Chronic condition with variable course and progression
    • Can lead to fertility issues, cardiovascular disease, and other complications if left untreated
  • Classification/Types/Stages:

    • Type 1: insulin-resistant diabetes with PCOS
    • Type 2: non-insulin-resistant diabetes with PCOS
    • Stages:
      • Stage 1: menstrual irregularity, hirsutism, acne, elevated testosterone levels
      • Stage 2: insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, prediabetes
      • Stage 3: diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease risk

Risk Factors:

  • Female gender
  • Postmenopausal age
  • Obesity
  • Insulin resistance/Type 2 diabetes
  • Family history of diabetes


  • The exact cause of Achard-Thiers syndrome is unknown, but it is believed to be related to insulin resistance and the body’s inability to use insulin effectively.


  • Elevated blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia)
  • High levels of insulin in the blood (hyperinsulinemia)


  • Excessive thirst (polydipsia)
  • Frequent urination (polyuria)
  • Hunger (polyphagia)
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Slow healing of cuts and wounds
  • Frequent infections
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Blurred vision


  • Insulin resistance leads to an increase in insulin production by the pancreas, leading to hyperinsulinemia.
  • The excess insulin may stimulate the growth of ovarian and adrenal androgen-producing cells, leading to excess androgens in the blood.
  • The excess androgens may cause virilization (development of male characteristics) in females, including facial hair growth, acne, and irregular periods.
  • The excess androgens may also contribute to the development of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common cause of infertility in women.
  • The combination of insulin resistance and excess androgens may also lead to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
  • Diagnosis
    • Symptoms typically present in postmenopausal women, including insulin resistance, obesity, and high levels of testosterone
    • Diagnosis typically made through blood tests to measure insulin resistance, testosterone levels, and other hormone levels
    • Genetic testing may also be done to confirm diagnosis
  • Tests Required
    • Blood tests to measure insulin resistance, testosterone levels, and other hormone levels
    • Genetic testing may also be necessary
  • Associated with
    • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
    • Obesity
    • Insulin resistance
    • Type 2 diabetes
  • Similar diseases/syndromes
    • PCOS
    • Adrenogenital syndrome
    • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Treatment
    • Weight loss and exercise to improve insulin resistance
    • Medications to lower testosterone levels and regulate menstrual cycle
    • Hormone replacement therapy to improve symptoms of menopause
    • Surgical removal of ovarian cysts may be necessary in some cases

Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER working in department