, Volume 164, Issue 5, pp 287-291
Date: 12 Feb 2005

Idiopathic male pseudohermaphroditism is associated with prenatal growth retardation

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About 50% of intersex cases are due to male pseudohermaphroditism, and of these cases, 50% are not clarified aetiologically. The association of idiopathic male pseudohermaphroditism and prenatal growth retardation has been recently reported. The aim of this study was to verify whether there was a difference in weight and/or length at birth between idiopathic and non-idiopathic male pseudohermaphroditism patients. A total of 70 patients with male pseudohermaphroditism were recruited; 35 non-idiopathic and 35 idiopathic. Birth weight and length were converted to z scores, and the severity of genital ambiguity was classified according to Prader grades: less virilised (Prader 1 to 3) and more virilised (Prader 4 or 5). Data were analysed using a Mann-Whitney test, odds ratio and logistic regression analysis. Birth weight ( P =0.028) and length ( P =0.01) z scores were lower in the idiopathic male pseudohermaphroditism group compared to the non-idiopathic group and were also significantly decreased among the less virilised patients, both in the sample as a whole (weight z score, P =0.002; length z score, P =0.0008) and in the group of idiopathic patients (weight z score, P =0.013; length z score, P =0.007). According to logistic regression analysis, only birth length z score significantly predicted the severity of the genital ambiguity in patients with idiopathic male pseudohermaphroditism ( P =0.0007). Conclusion:There is an association between prenatal growth retardation and male pseudohermaphroditism which may be due to genetic factors not clarified yet or to environmental factors which act early in gestation.