Being born small for gestational age (SGA) is frequently associated with unexplained disorders of sex development (nonspecific DSD) in boys. Little is known about their future growth, puberty and testicular function. Our objective is to determine the long-term endocrine outcome of boys born SGA who have a nonspecific DSD.
Boys with a nonspecific DSD born SGA and appropriate for GA (AGA) were retrieved through the International Disorders of Sex Development registry and retrospective data collected, based on a spreadsheet containing 102 items.
Patients and Measurements
In total, 179 boys were included, of which 115 were born SGA and 64 were born AGA. Their growth and pubertal development were compared. Serum LH, FSH, testosterone, AMH and inhibin B levels in infancy and puberty were analysed to assess testicular function.
At 2 years of age, 30% of SGA boys had incomplete or absent catch-up growth. Boys born SGA also had higher LH during minipuberty and lower testosterone in stimulation tests (p = 0.037 and 0.040, respectively), as compared to boys born AGA. No differences were observed in timing or course of puberty or end-pubertal hormone levels.
Almost one out of three SGA boys with a nonspecific DSD experiences insufficient catch-up growth. In addition, our data suggest dysfunction of infantile Leydig cells or altered regulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis in SGA boys during childhood. Sex steroid production during puberty seems unaffected.