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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 405-413
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: Problems with Developmental Anomalies of the External Genitalia and Sex Assignment

Amman 11941, P.O. Box 2324, Jubaiha, Jordan

Correspondence Address:
Hussein Al-Maghribi
Amman 11941, P.O.B 2324, Jubaiha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 17679754

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A retrospective study was performed on all patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) who were followed up at the King Hussein Medical Center (KHMC), Amman, Jordan, during the period from January 1996 to June 2006. The aim was to evaluate the clinical features, special problems, and corrective interventions for these patients. The records of 73 children (39 were genetic females and 34 were genetic males) with CAH were reviewed in the study. The age of the patients at last follow-up was between five months and 18 years. Diagnostic criteria for CAH were typical clinical features of the illness (salt loss, dehydration, virilization, macrogenitosomia, ambiguous genitalia, and accelerated growth) and typical hormonal abnormalities (decreased serum cortisol and elevated serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone). There were 62 patients with classical presentation; among them, salt-wasting (SW) form was seen in 41 patients (66%). There were 5 patients with the nonclassic form, while 6 others had cryptic presentation. Seven patients (9%) had hypertension, mostly due to salt-retaining CAH. Among the 39 females with CAH, 27 had developed mental anomalies of the external genitalia; 20 of them underwent surgical interventions of their external genitalia. Fourteen genetically female patients were wrongly diagnosed as 'male sex' at birth due to severe virilization. Seven of them were reassigned 'female sex' socially, legally, and surgically; the parents of one of them (a four-year-old girl) wanted the surgical intervention postponed for two to three years. Hysterectomy and gonadectomy were carried out for 6 of the other 7 patients who chose to keep the male gender. Our study indicates that newborns with developmental anomalies of the external genitalia should be diagnosed as early as possible so that medical, psychological, and social complications are minimized. A neonatal screening program for such a disorder can identify infants at risk for the development of life-threatening adrenal crisis and prevent incorrect sex assignment of affected female infants with intersex.

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