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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Aug;18(8):739-48.

Clinical, hormonal and cytogenetic evaluation of 46,XX males and review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, The New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, USA.


The main factor influencing the sex determination of an embryo is the genetic sex determined by the presence or absence of the Y chromosome. However, some individuals carry a Y chromosome but are phenotypically female (46,XY females) or have a female karyotype but are phenotypically male (46,XX males). 46,XX maleness is a rare sex reversal syndrome affecting 1 in 20,000 newborn males. Molecular analysis of sex-reversed patients led to the discovery of the SRY gene (sex-determining region on Y). The presence of SRY causes the bipotential gonad to develop into a testis. The majority of 46, SRY-positive XX males have normal genitalia; in contrast SRY-negative XX males usually have genital ambiguity. A small number of SRY-positive XX males also present with ambiguous genitalia. Phenotypic variability observed in 46,XX sex reversed patients cannot be explained only by the presence or absence of SRY despite the fact that SRY is considered to be the major regulatory factor for testis determination. There must be some other genes either in the Y or other autosomal chromosomes involved in the definition of phenotype. In this article, we evaluate four patients with 46,XX male syndrome with various phenotypes. Two of these cases are among the first reported to be diagnosed prenatally.

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