Sex-Differences in Reproductive Hormones during Mini-Puberty in Infants with Normal and Disordered Sex Development

Trine H Johannsen, K M Main, M L Ljubicic, T K Jensen, H R Andersen, M S Andersen, J H Petersen, A-M Andersson, A Juul

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Context: The early activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis during infancy can be used in the evaluation of infants suspected of disorders of sex development (DSD). However, few data exist on sex-specific reference ranges for these hormones during early life. Objective: To evaluate sex differences in reproductive hormone concentrations in serum from healthy infants to define sex-specific cutoff values and to apply these in infants with DSD. Design: A cross-sectional study. Setting: A tertiary center for pediatric endocrinology at the University Hospital of Copenhagen. Patients or Other Participants: Healthy infants (1840) and patients with DSD (27), aged 2 to 5 months. Main Outcome Measures: Serum concentrations of LH, FSH, testosterone (T), estradiol, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), inhibin B, anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), DHEA sulfate (DHEAS), 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP), androstenedione, and LH/FSH ratio. Results: LH and FSH concentrations showed overlap between sexes, with LH being highest in boys and FSH being highest in girls. The LH/FSH ratio separated infant boys from girls with minimal overlap at a cutoff value of 0.32. Inhibin B and AMH concentrations were markedly higher in boys compared with girls, with minimal or no overlap. In infants with Klinefelter syndrome, 45,X/46,XY mosaicism and male phenotype, and Turner syndrome, the LH/FSH ratio matched the gender of rearing. However, infants with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome had LH/FSH ratios within the male range. Conclusions: Reference ranges for reproductive hormones and LH/FSH ratio during mini-puberty were established in this study. The classifiers that best separated sex in mini-puberty were AMH, LH/FSH ratio, and T. Use of the LH/FSH ratio may add valuable information in the workup of infants suspected of DSD. (J Clin Endocrinol Metab 103: 3028-3037, 2018)

TidsskriftThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Udgave nummer8
Sider (fra-til)3028-3037
StatusUdgivet - 1. aug. 2018