alexa Prenatal and early postnatal treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia.


Pediatrics & Therapeutics

Author(s): Ghizzoni L, Cesari S, Cremonini G, Melandri L

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Abstract Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is a group of monogenic autosomal recessive disorders due to an enzyme deficiency in steroid biosynthesis. The most frequent form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia is 21-hydroxylase (21-OH) deficiency, which in its severe form can cause ambiguous genitalia in the female patient. Recent advances in molecular genetic analysis allow for prenatal diagnosis and treatment of at-risk fetuses. The objective of prenatal diagnosis and treatment of 21-OH deficiency is the prevention of prenatal virilization in affected female infants, reducing the risks of sex misassignment and gender confusion, and the need for corrective genital surgery. Prenatal treatment of 21-OH deficiency is effective in reducing genital ambiguity, and short-term outcome studies of children exposed to dexamethasone in utero indicate no significant adverse effects. However, more long-term studies of treated versus untreated pregnancies are warranted to monitor the safety of treatment and enhance our understanding of the effects of prenatal steroid exposure to the human brain. In the first year of life, optimization of medical treatment in salt-wasting patients is achieved by combining the lowest dose of glucocorticoid able to suppress androgen secretion with the normalization of sodium balance by giving appropriate sodium chloride supplementation. This article was published in Endocr Dev and referenced in Pediatrics & Therapeutics

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