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Alberto Ferlin, Andrea Garolla, Andrea Bettella, Lucia Bartoloni, Cinzia Vinanzi, Alberto Roverato and Carlo Foresta

Objective: Cryptorchidism is the most common congenital birth defect in male children, and accumulating evidence suggests that genetic abnormalities may be associated with it. The androgen receptor has two polymorphic sites in exon 1, with different numbers of CAG and GGC repeats, resulting in variable lengths of polyglutamine and polyglycine stretches. Longer CAG repeats result in a reduced androgen receptor transcriptional activity, but the role of the GGC triplets is less clear. In this study we analysed CAG and GGC repeat lengths in men with a history of cryptorchidism, associated or not with impairment of sperm production, in comparison with normal fertile subjects.

Methods: We analysed CAG and GGC repeat lengths in a group of 105 ex-cryptorchid men in comparison with 115 fertile non-cryptorchid men.

Results: No difference was found between patients and controls in the mean and median values, and in distribution of CAG and GGC, when considered separately. However, the analysis of the joint distribution of CAG and GGC showed that some combinations are significantly more frequent in men with bilateral cryptorchidism (who frequently presented severe testiculopathies), in a manner similar to that found in idiopathic infertile subjects.

Conclusions: Although further studies are needed to elucidate the possible role of specific CAG/GGC combinations as a causative factor, these data suggest a possible association between androgen receptor gene polymorphisms and cryptorchidism.

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Teresa Porcelli, Filippo Maffezzoni, Letizia Chiara Pezzaioli, Andrea Delbarba, Carlo Cappelli and Alberto Ferlin

Male osteoporosis has been neglected for too long time and there is need for a change. This condition is clearly under-estimated, under-diagnosed and under-treated. The diagnosis is often made late in the natural history of the pathology or even after a fracture event. Guidelines on screening politics do not agree whether and when men should be considered, and clinical trials are far less performed in men with respect to women. Actually, most of our knowledge on male osteoporosis, especially regarding treatment, is extrapolate from the female counterpart. Male osteoporosis is frequently secondary to other conditions and often associated with comorbidities. Therefore, identification of specific causes of male osteoporosis is essential to drive a correct and personalized treatment. Moreover, men have more osteoporosis-related complications and higher mortality rate associated with fractures. Furthermore, not only fewer men receive a correct and timely diagnosis, but also fewer men receive adequate treatment, and adherence to therapy is far less in men than in women. Of note, very few studies assessed the effect of antiosteoporotic treatments in men and most of them considered only bone density as primary endpoint. This review focuses on the areas that are still nebulous in male osteoporosis field, from identification of subjects who need to be evaluated for osteoporosis and screening programs dealing with primary prevention to diagnostic procedures for good estimates of bone quantity and quality and precise calculation of fracture risk and personalized treatment that take into account the pathophysiology of osteoporosis.

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Marco Bonomi, Valeria Vezzoli, Csilla Krausz, Fabiana Guizzardi, Silvia Vezzani, Manuela Simoni, Ivan Bassi, Paolo Duminuco, Natascia Di Iorgi, Claudia Giavoli, Alessandro Pizzocaro, Gianni Russo, Mirella Moro, Letizia Fatti, Alberto Ferlin, Laura Mazzanti, Maria Chiara Zatelli, Salvo Cannavò, Andrea M Isidori, Angela Ida Pincelli, Flavia Prodam, Antonio Mancini, Paolo Limone, Maria Laura Tanda, Rossella Gaudino, Mariacarolina Salerno, Pregnolato Francesca, Mohamad Maghnie, Mario Maggi, Luca Persani and Italian Network on Central Hypogonadism

Objective

Isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) is a rare disorder with pubertal delay, normal (normoosmic-IHH, nIHH) or defective sense of smell (Kallmann syndrome, KS). Other reproductive and non-reproductive anomalies might be present although information on their frequency are scanty, particularly according to the age of presentation.

Design

Observational cohort study carried out between January 2008 and June 2016 within a national network of academic or general hospitals.

Methods

We performed a detailed phenotyping of 503 IHH patients with: (1) manifestations of hypogonadism with low sex steroid hormone and low/normal gonadotropins; (2) absence of expansive hypothalamic/pituitary lesions or multiple pituitary hormone defects. Cohort was divided on IHH onset (PPO, pre-pubertal onset or AO, adult onset) and olfactory function: PPO-nIHH (n = 275), KS (n = 184), AO-nIHH (n = 36) and AO-doIHH (AO-IHH with defective olfaction, n = 8).

Results

90% of patients were classified as PPO and 10% as AO. Typical midline and olfactory defects, bimanual synkinesis and familiarity for pubertal delay were also found among the AO-IHH. Mean age at diagnosis was significantly earlier and more frequently associated with congenital hypogonadism stigmata in patients with Kallmann’s syndrome (KS). Synkinesis, renal and male genital tract anomalies were enriched in KS. Overweight/obesity are significantly associated with AO-IHH rather than PPO-IHH.

Conclusions

Patients with KS are more prone to develop a severe and complex phenotype than nIHH. The presence of typical extra-gonadal defects and familiarity for PPO-IHH among the AO-IHH patients indicates a common predisposition with variable clinical expression. Overall, these findings improve the understanding of IHH and may have a positive impact on the management of patients and their families.