Irisin as a Biomarker for Insulin Resistance in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: a Meta-analysis

Flora Bacopoulou


Background: Irisin has attracted growing interest as a potential novel biomarker of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).  Aim: A meta-analysis was performed to compare circulating irisin concentrations between PCOS and control women, and to explore the possible relation of irisin and insulin resistance, by associating this hormone with the homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Methods: An extended search of the PubMed/Medline, Google Scholar, and Web of Science databases (last updated on 9 March 2019) was performed to identify all articles published in the English language pertaining to circulating irisin in women with PCOS and control women. Results: Eleven studies that involved 1,017 PCOS patients and 669 controls were included. A random effects model revealed a moderate estimate of effect size (SMD: 0.27, 95% CI:  -0.13 to 0.67), indicating that circulating irisin concentrations did not differ significantly between PCOS women and controls. Another random effects model (four studies) revealed a moderate estimate of correlation and a statistically significant positive correlation between circulating irisin concentrations and HOMA-IR (Correlation: 0.372, 95% CI: 0.0843 to 0.603, p = 0.012). Irisin may play an important role in PCOS in relation to the inherent insulin resistance of the syndrome. This association requires further clarification in well-designed large-scale studies in women with PCOS.


irisin; biomarker; polycystic ovary syndrome; PCOS; insulin resistance; HOMA-IR


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