Partial deficiency in 17-ketosteroid reductase presenting as gynecomastia

  • Rogers D
  • Chasalow F
  • Blethen S
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We report a 14 year-old male with severe, long-lasting gynecomastia. Baseline serum androstenedione levels were elevated compared to testosterone levels (330 ng/dl vs 28ng/dl). In order to evaluate testosterone biosynthesis by this patient in more detail, androstenedione, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and estradiol responses to a single dose of hCG were measured. The responses observed were different from those reported in normal males in two respects: 1) there was no immediate rise in testosterone two to four hours after the injection of hCG, and 2) levels of androstenedione and estradiol at 24, 36 and 48 hours after injection were much higher than expected. We postulate that a partial defect in testicular 17-ketosteroid reductase activity was responsible for the abnormal androstenedione to testosterone ratio in our patient. This, in turn, lead to an increased peripheral synthesis of estrogens and marked gynecomastia. (Steroids45, xx (1985). © 1984.

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