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Valérie Bernard, Bruno Donadille, Tiphaine Le Poulennec, Mariana Nedelcu, Laetitia Martinerie and Sophie Christin-Maitre

Turner syndrome (TS), affecting 1/2000 to 1/2500 live born girls, is a chromosomal aberration with a total or partial loss of one of the X chromosomes. The diagnosis can be established from the intra-uterine life to adulthood. TS is a chronic disease with particular morbidity and mortality. The loss to follow-up rate, during transition, between children and adult units, remains a crucial issue. This review focusses on the adolescent and young adult patients with TS. The different goals of TS transition are presented as well as some of the tools available in order to improve this transition. The involvement of the patient’s family, advocacy groups and therapeutic educational programs are discussed. A specificity concerning TS transition, as compared to other chronic diseases, relies on the fact that patients with TS may present a peculiar neurocognitive profile. They are in general more anxious than the general population. Therefore, psychological support should be offered to optimize transition. Data illustrating the beneficial impact of an organised transition of TS, from paediatric units to multidisciplinary adult care systems, within the same reference centre are presented. Further studies are required to evaluate the mid-to-long-term transition of paediatric patients with TS referred to adult units.

Free access

Marie-Laure Raffin-Sanson, Bérénice Oudet, Sylvie Salenave, Sylvie Brailly-Tabard, Martine Pehuet, Sophie Christin-Maitre, Yves Morel and Jacques Young

Objective

DAX1/NR0B1 mutations cause primary adrenal insufficiency in early childhood and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HHG), leading to absent or incomplete sexual maturation. The aim of the study was to prospectively investigate gonadotrope and testicular functions in a patient carrying a DAX1 mutation, who had spontaneous puberty and normal virilization but oligospermia.

Case report

The proband was referred for infertility at the age of 32 years. He reported adrenal insufficiency diagnosed at the age of 19 years. Puberty started at the age of 13 years, with spontaneous virilization, growth spurt, and testicular growth. He reported normal libido and sexual function. Physical examination showed normal virilization, penile length, and testicular volume. However, semen samples showed severe oligospermia. Hormonal measurements confirmed adrenal insufficiency but showed a preserved hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis with normal testosterone and inhibin B; basal and GNRH-stimulated gonadotropin levels and LH pulsatility were also normal. He fathered a first boy by in vitro fertilization and a second boy without medical assistance. As a nephew also had early adrenal insufficiency, the possibility of DAX1 mutation was raised. The same recurrent hemizygous nonsense mutation W39X was found in the proband, his nephew, and in an apparently asymptomatic brother who was found to have adrenal insufficiency, mild HHG, and azoospermia. Several evaluations of the proband over 20 years showed preserved testosterone levels and LH secretion but deteriorating oligospermia.

Conclusion

Long-term preservation of normal hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal function in this patient, contrasting with his severe oligospermia, strongly suggests that DAX1 is required for human spermatogenesis, independently of its known role in gonadotropin secretion.

Free access

Zeina Chakhtoura, Anne Bachelot, Dinane Samara-Boustani, Jean-Charles Ruiz, Bruno Donadille, Jérôme Dulon, Sophie Christin-Maître, Claire Bouvattier, Marie-Charles Raux-Demay, Philippe Bouchard, Jean-Claude Carel, Juliane Leger, Frédérique Kuttenn, Michel Polak and Philippe Touraine

Objective

It remains controversial whether long-term glucocorticoids are charged of bone demineralization in patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency. The aim of this study was to know whether cumulative glucocorticoid dose from the diagnosis in childhood to adulthood in patients with CAH had a negative impact on bone mineral density (BMD).

Design

This was a retrospective study.

Methods

Thirty-eight adult patients with classical and non-classical CAH were included. BMD was measured in the lumbar spine and femoral neck. Total cumulative glucocorticoid (TCG) and total average glucocorticoid (TAG) doses were calculated from pediatric and adult files.

Results

We showed a difference between final and target heights (−0.82±0.92 s.d. for women and −1.31±0.84 s.d. for men; P<0.001). Seventeen patients (44.7%) had bone demineralization (35.7% of women and 70% of men). The 28 women had higher BMD than the 10 men for lumbar (−0.26±1.20 vs −1.25±1.33 s.d.; P=0.02) and femoral T-scores (0.21±1.30 s.d. versus −1.08±1.10 s.d.; P=0.007). In the salt-wasting group, women were almost significantly endowed with a better BMD than men (P=0.053). We found negative effects of TCG, TAG on lumbar (P<0.001, P=0.002) and femoral T-scores (P=0.006, P<0.001), predominantly during puberty. BMI was protective on BMD (P=0.006).

Conclusion

The TCG is an important factor especially during puberty for a bone demineralization in patients with 21-hydroxylase deficiency. The glucocorticoid treatment should be adapted particularly at this life period and preventive measures should be discussed in order to limit this effect.

Free access

Paul Laissue, Sophie Christin-Maitre, Philippe Touraine, Frederique Kuttenn, Olli Ritvos, Kristiina Aittomaki, Nathalie Bourcigaux, Laetitia Jacquesson, Philippe Bouchard, Rene Frydman, Didier Dewailly, Anne-Céline Reyss, Luke Jeffery, Anne Bachelot, Nathalie Massin, Marc Fellous and Reiner A Veitia

Background and objective: Mutations in bone morphogenic protein 15 (BMP15) and growth/differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) lead to altered fertility in animal models. In the human, a heterozygous point mutation of BMP15 has been associated with premature ovarian failure (POF).

Subject and methods: We have directly sequenced both genes in a cohort of 203 POF patients presenting with primary or secondary amenorrhea and high FSH levels and in a control population including 54 women with regular menstrual cycles who had at least one child.

Results: We have identified several heterozygous variants. One alteration in GDF9 (S186Y) and one in BMP15 (L148P) may have pathogenic effects as both positions are conserved in vertebrate species, ranging from the chicken to mammals. These variants were absent in the control samples. We also found synonymous and neutral substitutions.

Conclusions: We propose that although mutations in BMP15 and GDF9 are not a major cause of ovarian insufficiency, they may be involved in POF.

Free access

Bruno Donadille, Alexandra Rousseau, Delphine Zenaty, Sylvie Cabrol, Carine Courtillot, Dinane Samara-Boustani, Sylvie Salenave, Laurence Monnier-Cholley, Catherine Meuleman, Guillaume Jondeau, Laurence Iserin, Lise Duranteau, Laure Cabanes, Nathalie Bourcigaux, Damien Bonnet, Philippe Bouchard, Philippe Chanson, Michel Polak, Philippe Touraine, Yves Lebouc, Jean-Claude Carel, Juliane Léger and Sophie Christin-Maitre

Objective

Congenital cardiovascular malformations and aortic dilatation are frequent in patients with Turner syndrome (TS). The objective of this study was to investigate the cardiovascular findings and management in a large cohort of patients, including children and adults.

Design/methods

We recruited 336 patients with TS from a network of tertiary centers. We reviewed their files, checking for cardiovascular events, cardiac valve abnormalities, and aortic diameters indexed to body surface area (BSA) from magnetic resonance imaging (n=110) or echocardiography (n=300).

Results

Informative cardiovascular data were available for only 233 patients. Vascular surgery was reported in 7.4% of the cohort. The first cause of surgery was aortic coarctation, detected in 6.9% at a median age of 9.5 (range: 0–60) years. Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) was detected in 21% at a median age of 20 years (25th–75th percentiles: 15–30). At least one aortic diameter exceeded 32 mm in 12% of the cohort. This was detected at a median age of 19 (7–30) years. When indexed to BSA, at least one aortic diameter exceeded 20 mm/m2 in 39% of the cohort.

Conclusion

Our study shows that cardiovascular monitoring for TS patients is currently insufficient in France. BAV is present at birth, but often remains undiagnosed until later in life. Therefore, improved management in cardiovascular monitoring is required and a more systematic approach should be taken.

Restricted access

Laurence Dumeige, Livie Chatelais, Claire Bouvattier, Marc De Kerdanet, Capucine Hyon, Blandine Esteva, Dinane Samara-Boustani, Delphine Zenaty, Marc Nicolino, Sabine Baron, Chantal Metz-Blond, Catherine Naud-Saudreau, Clémentine Dupuis, Juliane Léger, Jean-Pierre Siffroi, Bruno Donadille, Sophie Christin-Maitre, Jean-Claude Carel, Regis Coutant and Laetitia Martinerie

Objective

Few studies of patients with a 45,X/46,XY mosaicism have considered those with normal male phenotype. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcome of 45,X/46,XY boys born with normal or minor abnormalities of external genitalia, notably in terms of growth and pubertal development.

Methods

Retrospective longitudinal study of 40 patients followed between 1982 and 2017 in France.

Results

Twenty patients had a prenatal diagnosis, whereas 20 patients had a postnatal diagnosis, mainly for short stature. Most patients had stunted growth, with abnormal growth spurt during puberty and a mean adult height of 158 ± 7.6 cm, i.e. −2.3 DS with correction for target height. Seventy percent of patients presented Turner-like syndrome features including cardiac (6/23 patients investigated) and renal malformations (3/19 patients investigated). Twenty-two patients had minor abnormalities of external genitalia. One patient developed a testicular embryonic carcinoma, suggesting evidence of partial gonadal dysgenesis. Moreover, puberty occurred spontaneously in 93% of patients but 71% (n = 5) of those evaluated at the end of puberty presented signs of declined Sertoli cell function (low inhibin B levels and increased FSH levels).

Conclusion

This study emphasizes the need to identify and follow-up 45,X/46,XY patients born with normal male phenotype until adulthood, as they present similar prognosis than those born with severe genital anomalies. Currently, most patients are diagnosed in adulthood with azoospermia, consistent with our observations of decreased testicular function at the end of puberty. Early management of these patients may lead to fertility preservation strategies.