True hermaphroditism associated with microphthalmia

in European Journal of Endocrinology

A 4-year-old boy with an undescending left testis, penoscrotal hypospadia and bilateral microphthalmia was admitted to our hospital. Chromosome analysis revealed a karyotype of 46, XX del(x)(p2 2,31) and the sex-determining region of the Y chromosome (SRY) was negative. The right testis was located in the scrotum and a left cystic ovary-like gonad, a salpinx and a unicorn uterus were found in the left inguinal canal. Histologically the gonad was an ovotestis in which primordial follicles covered infantile seminiferous tubules. Microphthalmia is observed in some congenital syndromes caused by interstitial deletion of the X chromosome. This case suggested that the short arm of the X chromosome was involved in the differentiation of the gonad. Very closely located follicles and infantile seminiferous tubules indicated that induction of meiosis in the fetus was controlled by the local microenvironment in follicles and seminiferous tubules, and not by the systemic hormonal condition.

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     European Society of Endocrinology

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