The ratio between luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) has previously been described as an excellent marker of sex in healthy infants. However, LH/FSH remains not fully described in patients with differences of sex development (DSD). The aim was therefore to describe LH/FSH in infants with DSD. This was a retrospective study of DSD patients, all aged 0–1.2 years. In total, 87 infants with DSD and at least one serum sample per infant were included. Longitudinal samples from single patients were included whenever possible. Serum LH/FSH ratios in these patients were plotted against recently published age-related and sex-dimorphic cutoffs. Overall, LH/FSH sometimes corresponded to assigned sex without any obvious pattern in terms of diagnoses. LH/FSH corresponded to the biological sex in all patients with Turner or Klinefelter syndrome. In patients with 46,XX or 46,XY DSD (except congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)), the ratios did not correspond to the assigned sex in all cases and were interchangeably within the male and female range. In patients with CAH, the ratio corresponded to biological sex (based on sex chromosomes) in some cases but also ranged across the cutoffs. In the 15 patients with 45,X/46,XY mosaicism, the LH/FSH ratios corresponded to the assigned sex in all cases (12 were raised as males, 3 as females) and at all time points in cases with multiple sampling. While this study describes LH/FSH in infants with DSD, the exact clinical role of the ratio in the management of these patients remains to be further elucidated.
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Marie Lindhardt Ljubicic, Trine Holm Johannsen, Margit Bistrup Fischer, Emmie N Upners, Alexander S Busch, Katharina M Main, Anna-Maria Andersson, Casper P Hagen, and Anders Juul
Antonina Khoruzhenko, Françoise Miot, Claude Massart, Jacqueline Van Sande, Jacques Emile Dumont, Renaud Beauwens, and Alain Boom
Long-term maintenance of functional activity of thyroid cells is an essential requirement for basic in vitro studies on the physiology and pathology of the thyroid. An important prerequisite of thyrocytes’ functional activity in vivo and in vitro is their follicle organization.
This study aimed at developing a method of cultivation of functionally active rat thyroid follicles in Matrigel under three-dimensional conditions.
Undamaged rat thyroid follicles were isolated by enzymatic digestion with collagenase/dispase, then embedded into Matrigel, and cultivated for 2 weeks. Thyroglobulin, thyroxine and zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) localization were revealed by immunofluorescence analysis. Iodide organification was tested by protein-bound 125I (PBI) measurement.
Integrity of the follicles was preserved during the whole period of cultivation and was confirmed by 3D reconstruction of ZO-1 localization. Thyroglobulin was detected in the thyrocyte cytoplasm, as well as in the intrafollicular lumen. Thyroxine was observed predominantly at the apical side of thyrocytes. Also, generated cultures were characterized by a high level of iodide organification: PB125I represented 39% of the total radioactivity in the Matrigel drop embedding the follicles; at the same time, methimazole almost totally inhibited this process (0.2% of total radioactivity).
The method of rat thyrocyte cultivation in Matrigel, as described here allows to maintain the structural integrity and the functional activity of thyroid follicles in vitro and could be used for wide ranges of basic and applied researches in thyroidology.
Ladan Younesi, Zeinab Safarpour Lima, Azadeh Akbari Sene, Zahra Hosseini Jebelli, and Ghazaleh Amjad
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders. The aim of this study was to find the correlation between color Doppler ultrasound and serum tests as auxiliary diagnostic criteria in areas where there is no possibility of some tests. A total of 108 patients were enrolled. They were divided into three groups including patients with PCOS, patients with PCOA ultrasound, patients with ovaries and normal hormone tests. Transvaginal sonography was performed from three groups and the results were evaluated in gray scale. The volume of the ovary, the number of follicles and the placement of follicles were recorded using using Doppler spectrum of uterine artery and ovarian stroma. Their arterial resistance index was also calculated. In the next step, serum samples were evaluated to determine the level of LH, FSH, free testosterone, DHEAS and 17-OHP hormones in the early follicular phase. Gray scale ultrasonographic findings (volume and number of ovarian follicles) as well as LH values were higher in patients with PCOS than those in the other two groups. These results proved the reliability of using these factors in the prediction of PCOS. In this study, Doppler indexes did not correlate with the size of the ovaries, the number of ovarian follicles and the measured hormone levels. The findings of transvaginal ultrasound and investigating the relationship with clinical and laboratory outcomes, a more suitable pattern could be chosen for more accurate patient selection and, leading to timely treatment and reducing the complications of the disease.
Lian Hollander-Cohen, Benjamin Böhm, Krist Hausken, and Berta Levavi-Sivan
The pituitary gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), are the principle endocrine drivers of reproductive processes in the gonads of jawed vertebrates. Canonically, FSH recruits and maintains selected ovarian follicles for maturation and LH induces the stages of germinal vesicle breakdown and ovulation. In mammals, LH and FSH specifically activate cognate G-protein-coupled receptors that affect the proteins involved in steroidogenesis, protein hormone synthesis, and gametogenesis. This dual-gonadotropin model also exists in some fish species, but not in all. In fact, due to their diverse number of species, extended number of ecological niches, and remarkably flexible reproductive strategies, fish are appropriate as models to understand the co-evolution of gonadotropins and their receptors. In this study, we cloned and characterized the expression profile over the final stages of ovarian maturation of carp (Cyprinus carpio) LHCGR and FSHR. Expression of both gonadotropin receptors increased in the later stage of early vitellogenesis, suggesting that both LH and FSH play a role in the development of mature follicles. We additionally tested the activation of cLHCGR and cFSHR using homologous and heterologous recombinant gonadotropins in order to gain insight into an evolutionary model of permissive gonadotropin receptor function. These data suggest that carp (Cyprinus carpio) gonad development and maturation depends on a specific gonadotropin profile that does not reflect the temporally distinct dual-gonadotropin model observed in salmonids or mammals, and that permissive gonadotropin receptor activation is a specific feature of Ostariophysi, not all teleosts.
Henrik Falhammar, Hedi Claahsen-van der Grinten, Nicole Reisch, Jolanta Slowikowska-Hilczer, Anna Nordenström, Robert Roehle, Claire Bouvattier, Baudewijntje P C Kreukels, Birgit Köhler, and on behalf of the dsd-LIFE group
The knowledge about health status in adults with disorder of sex development (DSD) is scarce.
Design and methods
A cross-sectional observational study in 14 European tertiary centers recruited 1040 participants (717 females, 311 males, 12 others) with DSD. Mean age was 32.4 ± 13.6 year (range 16–75). The cohort was divided into: Turner (n = 301), Klinefelter (n = 224), XY-DSD (n = 222), XX-DSD (excluding congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) and 46,XX males) (n = 21), 46,XX-CAH (n = 226) and 45,X/46,XY (n = 45). Perceived and objective health statuses were measured and compared to European control data.
In DSD, fair to very good general health was reported by 91.4% and only 8.6% reported (very) bad general health (controls 94.0% and 6.0%, P < 0.0001). Longstanding health issues other than DSD and feeling limited in daily life were reported in 51.0% and 38.6%, respectively (controls 24.5% and 13.8%, P < 0.0001 both). Any disorder except DSD was present in 84.3% (controls 24.6%, P < 0.0001). Males reported worse health than females. In the subgroup analysis, Klinefelter and 46,XX-DSD patients reported bad general health in 15.7% and 16.7%, respectively (Turner 3.2% and CAH 7.4%). Comorbidities were prevalent in all DSD subgroups but Klinefelter and Turner were most affected. Early diagnosis of DSD and a healthy lifestyle were associated with less comorbidities.
Overall, general health appeared to be good but a number of medical problems were reported, especially in Klinefelter and Turner. Early diagnosis of DSD and a healthy lifestyle seemed to be important. Lifelong follow-up at specialized centers is necessary.
E Kohva, P J Miettinen, S Taskinen, M Hero, A Tarkkanen, and T Raivio
We describe the phenotypic spectrum and timing of diagnosis and management in a large series of patients with disorders of sexual development (DSD) treated in a single pediatric tertiary center.
DSD patients who had visited our tertiary center during the survey period (between 2004 and 2014) were identified based on an ICD-10 inquiry, and their phenotypic and molecular genetic findings were recorded from patient charts.
Among the 550 DSD patients, 53.3% had 46,XY DSD; 37.1% had sex chromosome DSD and 9.6% had 46,XX DSD. The most common diagnoses were Turner syndrome (19.8%, diagnosed at the mean age of 4.7 ± 5.5 years), Klinefelter syndrome (14.5%, 6.8 ± 6.2 years) and bilateral cryptorchidism (23.1%). Very few patients with 46,XY DSD (7%) or 46,XX DSD (21%) had molecular genetic diagnosis. The yearly rate of DSD diagnoses remained stable over the survey period. After the release of the Nordic consensus on the management of undescended testes, the age at surgery for bilateral cryptorchidism declined significantly (P < 0.001).
Our results show that (i) Turner syndrome and Klinefelter syndrome, the most frequent single DSD diagnoses, are still diagnosed relatively late; (ii) a temporal shift was observed in the management of bilateral cryptorchidism, which may favorably influence patients’ adulthood semen quality and (iii) next-generation sequencing methods are not fully employed in the diagnostics of DSD patients.
Andre Madsen, Anders Juul, and Lise Aksglaede
Klinefelter syndrome (KS) is the most common sex chromosome disorder and genetic cause of infertility in males. A highly variable phenotype contributes to the fact that a large proportion of cases are never diagnosed. Typical hallmarks in adults include small testes and azoospermia which may prompt biochemical evaluation that typically shows extremely high follicle-stimulating hormone and low/undetectable inhibin B serum concentrations. However, in prepubertal KS individuals, biochemical parameters are largely overlapping those of prepubertal controls. We aimed to characterize clinical profiles of prepubertal boys with KS in relation to controls and to develop a novel biochemical classification model to identify KS before puberty.
Retrospective, longitudinal data from 15 prepubertal boys with KS and data from 1475 controls were used to calculate age- and sex-adjusted standard deviation scores (SDS) for height and serum concentrations of reproductive hormones and used to infer a decision tree classification model for KS.
Individual reproductive hormones were low but within reference ranges and did not discriminate KS from controls. Clinical and biochemical profiles including age- and sex-adjusted SDS from multiple reference curves provided input data to train a ‘random forest’ machine learning (ML) model for the detection of KS. Applied to unseen data, the ML model achieved a classification accuracy of 78% (95% CI, 61–94%).
Supervised ML applied to clinically relevant variables enabled computational classification of control and KS profiles. The application of age- and sex-adjusted SDS provided robust predictions irrespective of age. Specialized ML models applied to combined reproductive hormone concentrations may be useful diagnostic tools to improve the identification of prepubertal boys with KS.
Nicolás Crisosto, Bárbara Echiburú, Manuel Maliqueo, Marta Luchsinger, Pedro Rojas, Sergio Recabarren, and Teresa Sir-Petermann
Intrauterine life may be implicated in the origin of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) modifying the endocrine and metabolic functions of children born to PCOS mothers independently of the genetic inheritance and gender. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the reproductive and metabolic functions in sons of women with PCOS during puberty.
Sixty-nine PCOS sons (PCOSs) and 84 control sons of 7–18 years old matched by the Tanner stage score were studied. A complete physical examination was conducted including anthropometric measurements (weight, height, waist, hip and body mass index). An oral glucose tolerance test was performed and circulating concentrations of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), sex hormone-binding globulin, testosterone, androstenedione (A4), 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) and AMH were determined in the fasting sample.
Waist-to-hip ratio, FSH and androstenedione levels were significantly higher in the PCOSs group compared to control boys during the Tanner stage II–III. In Tanner stages II–III and IV–V, PCOSs showed significantly higher total cholesterol and LDL levels. Propensity score analysis showed that higher LDL levels were attributable to the PCOSs condition and not to other metabolic factors. AMH levels were comparable during all stages. The rest of the parameters were comparable between both groups.
Sons of women with PCOS show increased total cholesterol and LDL levels during puberty, which may represent latent insulin resistance. Thus, this is a group that should be followed and studied looking for further features of insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk markers. Reproductive markers, on the other hand, are very similar to controls.
Isabelle Flechtner, Magali Viaud, Dulanjalee Kariyawasam, Marie Perrissin-Fabert, Maud Bidet, Anne Bachelot, Philippe Touraine, Philippe Labrune, Pascale de Lonlay, and Michel Polak
Classic galactosemia is a rare inborn error of galactose metabolism with a birth prevalence of about 1/30,000–60,000. Long-term complications occurring despite dietary treatment consist of premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) and neurodevelopmental impairments. We performed with the French Reference Centers for Rare Diseases a multisite collaborative questionnaire survey for classic galactosemic patients. Its primary objective was to assess their puberty, pregnancy, gonadotropic axis, and pelvic morphology by ultrasound. The secondary objective was to determine predictive factors for pregnancy without oocyte donation. Completed questionnaires from 103 patients, 56 females (median age, 19 years (3–52 years)) and 47 males (median age, 19 years (3–45 years)), were analyzed. Among the 43 females older than 13 years old, mean age for breast development first stage was 13.8 years; spontaneous menarche occurred in 21/31 females at a mean age of 14.6 years. In these 21 women, 62% had spaniomenorrhea and 7/17 older than 30 years had amenorrhea. All age-groups confounded, FSH was above reference range for 65.7% of the patients, anti-Müllerian hormone and inhibin B were undetectable, and the ovaries were small with few or no follicles detected. Among the 5 females who sought to conceive, 4 had pregnancies. Among the 47 males, 1 had cryptorchidism, all have normal testicular function and none had a desire to conceive children. Thus, spontaneous puberty and POI are both common in this population. Spontaneous menarche seems to be the best predictive factor for successful spontaneous pregnancy.
Elin Kahlert, Martina Blaschke, Knut Brockmann, Clemens Freiberg, Onno E Janssen, Nikolaus Stahnke, Domenika Strik, Martin Merkel, Alexander Mann, Klaus-Peter Liesenkötter, and Heide Siggelkow
Turner syndrome (TS) is characterized by the complete or partial loss of the second sex chromosome and associated with a wide range of clinical manifestations. We aimed to assess the medical care of adult patients with TS in Germany.
Retrospective multicenter observational study.
Data were collected from medical records of 258 women with TS treated between 2001 and 2017 in five non-university endocrinologic centers in Germany.
Mean age was 29.8 ± 11.6 years, mean height 152 ± 7.7 cm, and mean BMI 26.6 ± 6.3 kg/m2. The karyotype was known in 50% of patients. Information on cholesterol state, liver enzymes, and thyroid status was available in 81–98% of women with TS; autoimmune thyroiditis was diagnosed in 37%. Echocardiography was performed in 42% and cardiac MRI in 8.5%, resulting in a diagnosis of cardiovascular disorder in 28%. Data on growth hormone therapy were available for 40 patients (15%) and data concerning menarche in 157 patients (61%).
In 258 women with TS, retrospective analysis of healthcare data indicated that medical management was focused on endocrine manifestations. Further significant clinical features including cardiovascular disease, renal malformation, liver involvement, autoimmune diseases, hearing loss, and osteoporosis were only marginally if at all considered. Based on this evaluation and in accordance with recent guidelines, we compiled a documentation form facilitating the transition from pediatric to adult care and further medical management of TS patients. The foundation of Turner Centers in March 2019 will improve the treatment of TS women in Germany.