European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 164, Issue 5, pp 287–291

Idiopathic male pseudohermaphroditism is associated with prenatal growth retardation


  • Francisco de Andrade Machado Neto
    • Department of PaediatricsSchool of Medicine (UNICAMP)
  • André Moreno Morcillo
    • Department of PaediatricsSchool of Medicine (UNICAMP)
  • Andrea Trevas Maciel-Guerra
    • Department of Clinical GeneticsUNICAMP
    • Department of PaediatricsSchool of Medicine (UNICAMP)
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00431-005-1626-y

Cite this article as:
de Andrade Machado Neto, F., Moreno Morcillo, A., Trevas Maciel-Guerra, A. et al. Eur J Pediatr (2005) 164: 287. doi:10.1007/s00431-005-1626-y


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.





confidence interval


male pseudohermaphroditism


odds ratio

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© Springer-Verlag 2005