PMID: 7428184May 1, 1980Paper

The causes of low oestrogen excretion in pregnancy: the development of diagnostic methods for the antenatal detection of familial congenital adrenocortical hypoplasia

Clinical Endocrinology
R A HarknessH B Valman


A pregnancy producing a boy with congeital adrenocortical hypoplasia is described. Consistently low oestrogen excretion, less than 10 umol/24 h, was not associated with any anatomical abnormality or diminished growth of the fetus as judged by ultrasound examination. Fetoplacental steroid sulphatase definciency was excluded by finding normal maternal excretion of oestrogen precursors, the 3Beta-hydroxy-5-ene steroid sulphates. Generalized adrenocortical hypoplasia was proven in the baby boy by analysis of steroid netabolites excreted in his urine. He suffered from salt loss and progressive jaundice. Both were responsive to gluco- and mineralo-corticoid replacement therapy. It is suggested that amniocentesis may be required for the antenatal diagnosis of congenital adrenocortical hypoplasia.


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