Objective: To investigate the factors that are associated with the effect of metformin on endothelial dysfunction in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Patients and Methods: From March 24, 2014, to November 18, 2016, 48 women with PCOS were randomly assigned to 1500 mg/d of metformin (N=29) or no treatment (N=13) for 3 months; 42 patients (29 in the initial treatment group and 13 in the no treatment group) completed the study. Study variables were measured at baseline and after 3 months. Participants who did not receive metformin initially were then treated with metformin for another 3 months, and study variables were measured again. Endothelial function was measured as reactive hyperemia–peripheral arterial tonometry (RH-PAT) from the index finger. Results: The age and baseline endothelial function (mean ± SD) of the participants were 32.7±6.9 years and 1.8±0.5, respectively. No notable change was observed in endothelial function after 3 months with metformin compared with no treatment. However, after stratifying participants who received metformin based on baseline endothelial function, there was a significant improvement following metformin treatment in participants with abnormal baseline endothelial function (1.3±0.3 vs 1.7±0.3; P<.001) but not in those with normal baseline endothelial function (2.1±0.4 vs 2.0±0.5; P=.11). Conclusion: Metformin improves endothelial function in women with PCOS and endothelial dysfunction independent of changes in glucose metabolism, dyslipidemia, or presence of prediabetes. Metformin has a direct effect on endothelial function in PCOS, and measurement of endothelial function can stratify and follow response to metformin treatment in PCOS. Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02086526.
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