The Effect of Thiazolidinediones in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials

Mohammed A. Abdalla, Najeeb Shah, Harshal Deshmukh, Amirhossein Sahebkar, Linda Östlundh, Rami H. Al-Rifai, Stephen L. Atkin, Thozhukat Sathyapalan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex endocrine condition affecting women of reproductive age. It is characterised by insulin resistance and is a risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The aim of this study was to review the literature on the effect of pioglitazone and rosiglitazone in women with PCOS. Methods: We searched PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, Embase, Cochrane Library and the Web of Science in April 2020 and updated in March 2023. Studies were deemed eligible if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) reporting the effect of pioglitazone and rosiglitazone in PCOS. The study follows the 2020 Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed the risk of bias using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Results: Out of 814 initially retrieved citations, 24 randomised clinical trials (RCTs) involving 976 participants were deemed eligible. Among women with PCOS, treatment with rosiglitazone compared to metformin resulted in a significant increase in the mean body weight (mean difference (MD) 1.95 kg; 95% CI 0.03–3.87, p = 0.05). Metformin treatment was associated with a reduction in mean body mass index (BMI) compared to pioglitazone (MD 0.85 kg/m2; 95% CI 0.13–1.57, p = 0.02). Both pioglitazone compared to placebo (MD 2.56 kg/m2; 95% CI 1.77–3.34, p < 0.00001) and rosiglitazone compared to metformin (MD 0.74 kg/m2; 95% CI 0.07–1.41, p = 0.03) were associated with a significant increase in BMI. Treatment with pioglitazone compared to placebo showed a significant reduction in triglycerides (MD − 0.20 mmol/L; 95% CI − 0.38 to − 0.03, p = 0.02) and fasting insulin levels (MD − 11.47 mmol/L; 95% CI − 20.20, − 2.27, p = 0.01). Rosiglitazone compared to metformin was marginally significantly associated with a reduction in the luteinising hormone (LH) (MD − 0.62; 95% CI − 1.25–0.00, p = 0.05). Conclusion: Both pioglitazone and rosiglitazone were associated with significant increases in body weight and BMI when compared with metformin or placebo. Pioglitazone significantly reduced triglycerides and fasting insulin when compared with placebo while rosiglitazone showed a modest reduction of LH when compared with metformin. PROSPERO Registration No.: CRD42020178783.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2168-2195
Number of pages28
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Issue number6
Early online date29 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


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