Spontaneous virilization around puberty in nr5a1-related 46,xy sex reversal: Additional case and a literature review

Masanori Adachi, Tomonobu Hasegawa, Yukichi Tanaka, Yumi Asakura, Junko Hanakawa, Koji Muroya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


A heterozygous NR5A1 mutation is one of the most frequent causes of 46,XY DSD (disorders of sex development). We here reported a NR5A1-related 46,XY DSD patient, who first received endocrinological attention at 10 years of age for clitoromegaly. The patient had been reared as a girl, and no signs of virilization had been detected before. On examination, her clitoris was 35 mm long and 10 mm wide, with Tanner 3° pubic hair. Urogenital sinus and labial fusion was absent, while her uterus was found to be severely hypoplastic. Her basal testosterone level was 94.8 ng/dL, suggesting the presence of functioning Leydig cells. Gonadal histology revealed bilateral dysplastic testes consisting of mostly Sertoli cell-only tubules and Leydig cell hyperplasia. Novel heterozygous Arg313Leu substitution in NR5A1 was identified in the patient. Literature search confirmed twelve other cases of this scenario, namely, severe under-virilization in utero followed by spontaneous virilization around puberty in NR5A1-related 46,XY DSD. Of interest, Leydig cell hyperplasia was documented in 6 out of 9 patients for whom testicular histology was available. To keep in mind about the possible restoration of Leydig cell function around puberty, even in patients without discernible in utero androgen effect, may be of clinical significance, because it will give a great impact on the judgement about sex assignment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1187-1192
Number of pages6
JournalEndocrine journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • 46
  • Clitoromegaly
  • Disorders of sex development
  • Dysplastic testis
  • Leydig cell hyperplasia
  • XY sex reversal 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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