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It has recently been shown that chondrocytes are able to develop in culture retaining specific phenotipic characteristics. Consequently, chondrocyte cultures have been used for the " in vitro " study of biochemical characterististics of cartilage ( Björnsson et al. 1981; Desau et al. 1981; Harmand et al. 1982; Schindler et al. 1976 ) and factors involved in cartilage metabolism ( Corvol et al. 1978; Guenther et al. 1982; Klagsbrun et al. 1977; Shen et al. 1985 ). Chondrocytes from normal and pathologic human and animal cartilage have been cultured.

Skeletal growth is particularly significant during human fetal development. The role of epiphyseal cartilage in promoting skeletal growth has been recognized since the endochondral clacification process was first described. However, little is known of the biochemical characteristics of human fetal epiphyseal cartilage and factors involved in its metabolism, since methodological limitations constitute the major problem. Thus, we have cultured human fetal epiphyseal chondrocytes in an attempt to

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Laura Audí, S. Faisal Ahmed, Nils Krone, Martine Cools, Ken McElreavey, Paul-Martin Holterhus, Andy Greenfield, Anu Bashamboo, Olaf Hiort, Stefan A Wudy, and Ruth McGowan

The differential diagnosis of differences or disorders of sex development (DSD) belongs to the most complex fields in medicine. It requires a multidisciplinary team conducting a synoptic and complementary approach consisting of thorough clinical, hormonal and genetic workups. This position paper of EU COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action BM1303 "DSDnet" was written by leading experts in the field and focuses on current best practice in genetic diagnosis in DSD patients. Ascertainment of the karyotpye defines one of the three major diagnostic DSD subclasses and is therefore the mandatory initial step. Subsequently, further analyses comprise molecular studies of monogenic DSD causes or analysis of copy number variations (CNV), or both. Panels of candidate genes provide rapid and reliable results. Whole exome and genome sequencing (WES and WGS) represent valuable methodological developments that are currently in the transition from basic science to clinical routine service in the field of DSD. However, in addition to covering known DSD candidate genes, WES and WGS help to identify novel genetic causes for DSD. Diagnostic interpretation must be performed with utmost caution and needs careful scientific validation in each DSD case.

Open access

Angela K Lucas-Herald, Jillian Bryce, Andreas Kyriakou, Marie Lindhardt Ljubicic, Wiebke Arlt, Laura Audi, Antonio Balsamo, Federico Baronio, Silvano Bertelloni, Markus Bettendorf, Antonia Brooke, Hedi L Claahsen van der Grinten, Justin H Davies, Gloria Hermann, Liat de Vries, Ieuan A Hughes, Rieko Tadokoro-Cuccaro, Feyza Darendeliler, Sukran Poyrazoglu, Mona Ellaithi, Olcay Evliyaoglu, Simone Fica, Lavinia Nedelea, Aneta Gawlik, Evgenia Globa, Nataliya Zelinska, Tulay Guran, Ayla Güven, Sabine E Hannema, Olaf Hiort, Paul-Martin Holterhus, Violeta Iotova, Vilhelm Mladenov, Vandana Jain, Rajni Sharma, Farida Jennane, Colin Johnston, Gil Guerra Junior, Daniel Konrad, Odile Gaisl, Nils Krone, Ruth Krone, Katherine Lachlan, Dejun Li, Corina Lichiardopol, Lidka Lisa, Renata Markosyan, Inas Mazen, Klaus Mohnike, Marek Niedziela, Anna Nordenstrom, Rodolfo Rey, Mars Skaeil, Lloyd J W Tack, Jeremy Tomlinson, Naomi Weintrob, Martine Cools, and S Faisal Ahmed


To determine trends in clinical practice for individuals with DSD requiring gonadectomy.


Retrospective cohort study.


Information regarding age at gonadectomy according to diagnosis; reported sex; time of presentation to specialist centre; and location of centre from cases reported to the International DSD Registry and who were over 16 years old in January 2019.


Data regarding gonadectomy were available in 668 (88%) individuals from 44 centres. Of these, 248 (37%) (median age (range) 24 (17, 75) years) were male and 420 (63%) (median age (range) 26 (16, 86) years) were female. Gonadectomy was reported from 36 centres in 351/668 cases (53%). Females were more likely to undergo gonadectomy (n = 311, P < 0.0001). The indication for gonadectomy was reported in 268 (76%). The most common indication was mitigation of tumour risk in 172 (64%). Variations in the practice of gonadectomy were observed; of the 351 cases from 36 centres, 17 (5%) at 9 centres had undergone gonadectomy before their first presentation to the specialist centre. Median age at gonadectomy of cases from high-income countries and low-/middle-income countries (LMIC) was 13.0 years (0.1, 68) years and 16.5 years (1, 28), respectively (P < 0.0001) with the likelihood of long-term retention of gonads being higher in LMIC countries.


The likelihood of gonadectomy depends on the underlying diagnosis, sex of rearing and the geographical setting. Clinical benchmarks, which can be studied across all forms of DSD will allow a better understanding of the variation in the practice of gonadectomy.