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Lancet. 2005 Jun 18-24;365(9477):2125-36.

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

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Pediatric and Reproductive Endocrinology Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1932, USA.


Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to deficiency of 21-hydroxylase is a disorder of the adrenal cortex characterised by cortisol deficiency, with or without aldosterone deficiency, and androgen excess. Patients with the most severe form also have abnormalities of the adrenal medulla and epinephrine deficiency. The severe classic form occurs in one in 15,000 births worldwide, and the mild non-classic form is a common cause of hyperandrogenism. Neonatal screening for CAH and gene-specific prenatal diagnosis are now possible. Standard hormone replacement fails to achieve normal growth and development for many children with CAH, and adults can experience iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome, hyperandrogenism, infertility, or the development of the metabolic syndrome. This Seminar reviews the epidemiology, genetics, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of CAH, and provides an overview of clinical challenges and future therapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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