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Horm Res. 2006;65(3):126-31. Epub 2006 Feb 16.

Puberty in subjects with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome.

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Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Groupe hospitalier Cochin-Saint-Vincent de Paul and Université Paris-V, Paris, France.



Androgen receptor defects affect the regulation of the gonadotropic axis. However, little is known about the timing of pubertal maturation in complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS).


To evaluate growth, skeletal maturation and gonadotropin and sex steroid secretion in patients with CAIS and intact gonads at puberty.


Clinical, auxological and hormonal evaluation of 9 patients with CAIS from birth up to 17 years of age, prior to gonadectomy, in a single institution, retrospective study.


Breast development occurred at a median age of 11.1 years, thumb sesamoid appeared at 11.5 years, and peak height velocity at 12.3 years, all consistent with average female values. However, median adult male height (+1.2 SDS) was closer to the patients' male target height (-0.3 SDS). Plasma testosterone levels rose early compared to normal boys. LH (basal and GnRH-stimulated) increased rapidly, above normal male values, in early puberty.


This retrospective evaluation of a limited number of cases with a heterogeneous pattern of follow-up suggests that patients with CAIS may enter puberty at an age closer to female standards. These results imply a major role of direct androgen action, in utero or in early life, in determining the pattern of pubertal gonadotropin maturation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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