During childhood, the main aims of the medical treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) secondary to 21-hydroxylase deficiency, are to prevent salt loss and virilization and to achieve normal stature and normal puberty. As such, there is a narrow therapeutic window through which the intended results can be achieved. In adulthood, the clinical management has received little attention, but recent studies have shown the relevance of long-term follow-up of these patients. Indeed, long-term evaluation of adult CAH patients enables the identification of multiple clinical, hormonal and metabolic abnormalities as bone mineral density alteration, overweight and disturbed reproductive functions. In women with classic CAH, low fertility rate is reported, and is probably the consequence of multiple factors, including neuroendocrine and hormonal factors, feminizing surgery, and psychological factors. Men with CAH may present hypogonadism either through the effect of adrenal rests or from suppression of gonadotropins resulting in infertility. These patients should therefore be carefully followed-up, from childhood through to adulthood, to avoid these complications and to ensure treatment compliance and tight control of the adrenal androgens, by multidisciplinary teams who have knowledge of CAH.
Adrenal rest tumours
Body mass index
Bone mineral density
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
© 2007 Elsevier Masson SAS. Tous droits réservés.