Dynamic changes in LH/FSH ratios in infants with normal sex development

in European Journal of Endocrinology
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  • 1 Department of Growth and Reproduction, Copenhagen University Hospital – Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • | 2 International Center for Research and Research Training in Endocrine Disruption of Male Reproduction and Child Health (EDMaRC), Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Correspondence should be addressed to M L Ljubicic; Email: marie.lindhardt.ljubicic@regionh.dk
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Objective

Little is known about the ratio between luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) during infancy. This study aimed to evaluate serum and urinary LH/FSH as a marker of sex with age-specific cutoffs in healthy infants.

Design

A prospective, longitudinal cohort study of healthy infants aged 0–1.2 years.

Methods

In total, 236 healthy infants (122 boys and 114 girls) from The COPENHAGEN Minipuberty Study (ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT02784184), with 567 serum and 603 urine samples, were included. Measures of diagnostic accuracy, including sensitivity and specificity, were used to assess the ability of LH/FSH to detect sex in healthy infants.

Results

In both serum and urine, LH/FSH was highest in males with minimal overlap between the sexes. In contrast to isolated LH and FSH concentrations, LH/FSH ratios in both serum and urine were excellent markers of sex from 0 to 1.2 years with median sensitivities and specificities ranging from 93 to 100% with correspondingly narrow 95% CIs.

Conclusions

Serum and urinary LH/FSH ratios are excellent discriminators of sex in healthy infants during the entire first year of life. The clinical role and application of the ratio remain to be elucidated.

 

     European Society of Endocrinology

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