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Open access

Jan Idkowiak, Yasir S Elhassan, Pascoe Mannion, Karen Smith, Rachel Webster, Vrinda Saraff, Timothy G Barrett, Nicholas J Shaw, Nils Krone, Renuka P Dias, Melanie Kershaw, Jeremy M Kirk, Wolfgang Högler, Ruth E Krone, Michael W O’Reilly, and Wiebke Arlt

Objective

Androgen excess in childhood is a common presentation and may signify sinister underlying pathology. Data describing its patterns and severity are scarce, limiting the information available for clinical decision processes. Here, we examined the differential diagnostic value of serum DHEAS, androstenedione (A4) and testosterone in childhood androgen excess.

Design

Retrospective review of all children undergoing serum androgen measurement at a single center over 5 years.

Methods

Serum A4 and testosterone were measured by tandem mass spectrometry and DHEAS by immunoassay. Patients with at least one increased androgen underwent phenotyping by clinical notes review.

Results

In 487 children with simultaneous DHEAS, A4 and testosterone measurements, we identified 199 with androgen excess (140 pre- and 59 post-pubertal). Premature adrenarche (PA) was the most common pre-pubertal diagnosis (61%), characterized by DHEAS excess in 85%, while A4 and testosterone were only increased in 26 and 9% respectively. PCOS was diagnosed in 40% of post-pubertal subjects, presenting equally frequent with isolated excess of DHEAS (29%) or testosterone (25%) or increases in both A4 and testosterone (25%). CAH patients (6%) predominantly had A4 excess (86%); testosterone and DHEAS were increased in 50 and 33% respectively. Concentrations increased above the two-fold upper limit of normal were mostly observed in PA for serum DHEAS (>20-fold in the single case of adrenocortical carcinoma) and in CAH for serum androstenedione.

Conclusions

Patterns and severity of childhood androgen excess provide pointers to the underlying diagnosis and can be used to guide further investigations.

Open access

Min Sun, Jonathan W Mueller, Lorna C Gilligan, Angela E Taylor, Fozia Shaheen, Anna Noczyńska, Guy T’Sjoen, Louise Denvir, Savitha Shenoy, Piers Fulton, Timothy D Cheetham, Helena Gleeson, Mushtaqur Rahman, Nils P Krone, Norman F Taylor, Cedric H L Shackleton, Wiebke Arlt, and Jan Idkowiak

Context

17α-Hydroxylase/17,20-lyase deficiency (17OHD) caused by mutations in the CYP17A1 gene is a rare form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia typically characterised by cortisol deficiency, mineralocorticoid excess and sex steroid deficiency.

Objective

To examine the phenotypic spectrum of 17OHD by clinical and biochemical assessment and corresponding in silico and in vitro functional analysis.

Design

Case series.

Patients and results

We assessed eight patients with 17OHD, including four with extreme 17OHD phenotypes: two siblings presented with failure to thrive in early infancy and two with isolated sex steroid deficiency and normal cortisol reserve. Diagnosis was established by mass spectrometry-based urinary steroid profiling and confirmed by genetic CYP17A1 analysis, revealing homozygous and compound heterozygous sequence variants. We found novel (p.Gly111Val, p.Ala398Glu, p.Ile371Thr) and previously described sequence variants (p.Pro409Leu, p.Arg347His, p.Gly436Arg, p.Phe53/54del, p.Tyr60IlefsLys88X). In vitro functional studies employing an overexpression system in HEK293 cells showed that 17,20-lyase activity was invariably decreased while mutant 17α-hydroxylase activity retained up to 14% of WT activity in the two patients with intact cortisol reserve. A ratio of urinary corticosterone over cortisol metabolites reflective of 17α-hydroxylase activity correlated well with clinical phenotype severity.

Conclusion

Our findings illustrate the broad phenotypic spectrum of 17OHD. Isolated sex steroid deficiency with normal stimulated cortisol has not been reported before. Attenuation of 17α-hydroxylase activity is readily detected by urinary steroid profiling and predicts phenotype severity.

Significance statement

Here we report, supported by careful phenotyping, genotyping and functional analysis, a prismatic case series of patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 17α-hydroxylase (CYP17A1) deficiency (17OHD). These range in severity from the abolition of function, presenting in early infancy, and unusually mild with isolated sex steroid deficiency but normal ACTH-stimulated cortisol in adult patients. These findings will guide improved diagnostic detection of CYP17A1 deficiency.

Open access

Irina Bacila, Nicole Freeman, Eleni Daniel, Marija Sandrk, Jillian Bryce, Salma Rashid Ali, Zehra Yavas Abali, Navoda Atapattu, Tania A Bachega, Antonio Balsamo, Niels Birkebæk, Oliver Blankenstein, Walter Bonfig, Martine Cools, Eduardo Correa Costa, Feyza Darendeliler, Silvia Einaudi, Heba Hassan Elsedfy, Martijn Finken, Evelien Gevers, Hedi L Claahsen-van der Grinten, Tulay Guran, Ayla Güven, Sabine E Hannema, Claire E Higham, Violeta Iotova, Hetty J van der Kamp, Marta Korbonits, Ruth E Krone, Corina Lichiardopol, Andrea Luczay, Berenice Bilharinho Mendonca, Tatjana Milenkovic, Mirela C Miranda, Klaus Mohnike, Uta Neumann, Rita Ortolano, Sukran Poyrazoglu, Ajay Thankamony, Jeremy W Tomlinson, Ana Vieites, Liat de Vries, S Faisal Ahmed, Richard J Ross, and Nils P Krone

Objective

Despite published guidelines no unified approach to hormone replacement in congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) exists. We aimed to explore geographical and temporal variations in the treatment with glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids in CAH.

Design

This retrospective multi-center study, including 31 centers (16 countries), analyzed data from the International-CAH Registry.

Methods

Data were collected from 461 patients aged 0–18 years with classic 21-hydroxylase deficiency (54.9% females) under follow-up between 1982 and 2018. Type, dose and timing of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid replacement were analyzed from 4174 patient visits.

Results

The most frequently used glucocorticoid was hydrocortisone (87.6%). Overall, there were significant differences between age groups with regards to daily hydrocortisone-equivalent dose for body surface, with the lowest dose (median with interquartile range) of 12.0 (10.0–14.5) mg/m2/day at age 1–8 years and the highest dose of 14.0 (11.6–17.4) mg/m2/day at age 12–18 years. Glucocorticoid doses decreased after 2010 in patients 0–8 years (P < 0.001) and remained unchanged in patients aged 8–18 years. Fludrocortisone was used in 92% of patients, with relative doses decreasing with age. A wide variation was observed among countries with regards to all aspects of steroid hormone replacement.

Conclusions

Data from the I-CAH Registry suggests international variations in hormone replacement therapy, with a tendency to treatment with high doses in children.