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Pediatr Res. 1985 Jan;19(1):82-6.

Pituitary-gonadal function in Klinefelter syndrome before and during puberty.


Serum concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, testosterone, and estradiol were determined at intervals before and during puberty in 40 individuals with Klinefelter syndrome (47,XXY karyotype), of whom 27 had been detected in neonatal cytogenetic screening programs. Prior to the appearance of secondary sexual changes, basal serum hormone concentrations and acute responses to stimulation with gonadotropin-releasing hormone and human chorionic gonadotropin were normal. The timing of the onset of clinical puberty was normal. Early pubertal boys showed initial testicular growth and normal serum testosterone levels, while serum follicle-stimulating hormone and estradiol concentrations were significantly elevated. By midpuberty, the Klinefelter subjects were uniformly hypergonadotropic and their testicular growth had ceased. Serum testosterone concentrations after age 15 remained in the low-normal adult range. Serum estradiol levels remained high, irrespective of the presence or absence of gynecomastia. Exaggerated responses to gonadotropin-releasing hormone are seen in pubertal subjects with elevated basal gonadotropin values.

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