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21-hydroxylase deficiency

21-hydroxylase deficiency (21-OHD) is the most common cause of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), a family of autosomal recessive disorders involving impaired synthesis of cortisol from cholesterol by the adrenal cortex. In 21-OHD CAH, excessive adrenal androgen biosynthesis results in virilization in all individuals and salt wasting in some individuals. A classic form with severe enzyme deficiency and prenatal onset of virilization is distinguished from a non-classic form with mild enzyme deficiency and postnatal onset. The classic form is further divided into the simple virilizing form (~25% of affected individuals) and the salt-wasting form, in which aldosterone production is inadequate (=75% of individuals). Newborns with salt-wasting 21-OHD CAH are at risk for life-threatening salt-wasting crises. Individuals with the non-classic form of 21-OHD CAH present postnatally with signs of hyperandrogenism; females with the non-classic form are not virilized at birth. [from GeneReviews]

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Disease or Syndrome

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21 hydroxylase deficiency

MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Congenital Abnormality

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