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Metformin or Oral Contraceptives for Adolescents With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Meta-analysis.

Pediatrics 2016 May
BACKGROUND: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common disease. There is limited evidence to support various treatment choices. This leads to variable treatment practices.

OBJECTIVES: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate the use of metformin versus oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) for the treatment of PCOS in adolescents aged 11 to 19 years.

DATA SOURCES: We performed literature searches through Ovid Medline, Ovid Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and gray literature resources, up to January 29, 2015.

STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: Two reviewers screened titles and abstracts of identified citations, assessed full text eligibility, and extracted information from eligible trials.

RESULTS: Four RCTs met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The reviewed evidence came from 170 patients. Overall, OCP treatment resulted in modest improvement in menstrual cycle frequency (weighted mean difference [WMD] = 0.27, P < .01, 95% confidence interval [CI] -0.33 to -0.21) and mild reduction of acne scores (WMD = 0.3, P = .02, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.55). While metformin resulted in greater BMI reduction (WMD = -4.02, P < .01, 95% CI -5.23 to -2.81) it was associated with decreased dysglycemia prevalence (risk ratio: 0.41, P = .02, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.86) and improved total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein levels. Metformin and OCPs were similar in terms of impact on hirsutism.

CONCLUSIONS AND LIMITATIONS: Current evidence is derived from very low to low quality evidence. Therefore, treatment choice should be guided by patient values and preferences while balancing potential side effects. Future high quality RCTs are needed to address several questions for the treatment of adolescents with PCOS.

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