The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of late-onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia (LOCAH) in a group of hyperandrogenic women presenting with menstrual disturbances and/or infertility. Thirty-five women were evaluated by basal hormonal profiles and underwent ACTH stimulation testing. In this study, 17.1% of women showed evidence of partial 21-OH deficiency (21-OHD), and 5.7% 3β-HSD deficiency. Neither basal hormonal levels nor clinical characteristics distinguished women with LOCAH from other hyperandrogenic women. And although the mean basal 17-OH progesterone (17-OHP) level in women with 21-OHD (152 ± 66 ng/dl) was significantly higher than levels in other hirsute women, 4 of 6 (67%) women with 21-OHD had normal 17-OHP levels. Thus, to identify all affected individuals with partial 21-OHD, our data suggest that hyperandrogenic women with basal unsuppressed 17-OHP levels >100 ng/dl should undergo dynamic testing. With regard to partial 3β-HSD deficiency, basal DHEA-S levels greater than the 95th percentile of other hirsute women may be used to screen for this deficiency. In conclusion, LOCAH due to partial steroid enzyme deficiencies are a frequent occurrence in women who present with symptoms of hyperandrogenism and ACTH stimulation remains an important tool in making make the diagnosis of enzyme deficiencies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology