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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2001 Jul;28(1):67-75.

Factors affecting gonadal function after bone marrow transplantation during childhood.

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  • 1Pediatric Endocrinology Department, Université Paris V and Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, France.


Conditioning for bone marrow transplantation (BMT) may alter viability of germ cells and production of gonadal hormones. We analyzed the risk factors for gonadal failure after 12 Gy total body irradiation (TBI) given as six fractions (n = 31, group 1), 10 Gy (one dose) TBI (n = 20, group 2), 6 Gy (one dose) total lymphoid irradiation (TLI, n = 17, group 3) and chemotherapy alone (n = 7, group 4), given at 7.7 +/- 0.4 (0.6-13.6) years. Among the 34 girls, seven (20.6%) had normal ovarian function with regular spontaneous menstruation and normal plasma follicle-stimulating (FSH) and luteinizing (LH) hormones, five (14.7%) had partial ovarian failure with regular menstruation but increased FSH and/or LH, and 22 (64.7%) had complete ovarian failure. The 24 girls with chronological and bone ages >13 years included similar percentages, with increased FSH or LH in all four groups. There was a positive correlation between age at BMT and FSH (r = 0.54, P < 0.01), but not with lh, and between fsh and lh (r = 0.8, P = 0.0003). Plasma FSH concentrations had returned to normal spontaneously in six cases, and those of LH in two cases. Among the 41 boys, 16 (39%) had normal testicular function and 25 (61%) had tubular failure and increased FSH. Of these, 10 also had Leydig cell failure (three complete and seven partial). The 18 boys with chronological and bone ages >15 years included similar percentages with increased FSH or LH in groups 1 to 3, and testicular volume was significantly lower in group 2 than in group 3 (P = 0.008). There was no correlation between age at BMT and FSH, LH or testosterone, but there was a negative correlation between FSH and inhibin B (rho = -0.87, P < 0.003). we conclude that girls are more likely to suffer ovarian failure the older they are at bmt, and that early ovarian recovery is possible. the negative correlation between fsh and inhibin b in boys suggests that this parameter is an additional indicator of tubular function.

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