Isosexual precocious pseudopuberty secondary to a feminizing adrenal tumor

Florence Comite, Rick J. Schiebinger, Barry D. Albertson, Fernando G. Cassorla, Kaye Vander Ven, Thomas F. Cullen, D. Lynn Loriaux, Gordon B. Cutler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We report a 2 10/12-yr-old girl with precocious pseudopuberty due to a feminizing adrenal carcinoma without Cushing’s syndrome. The patient had marked elevation of plasma concentrations of the Δ6 adrenal steroids dehydroepiandosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and increased levels of androstenedione, estrone, estradiol, and testosterone. Adrenal microsomal 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-isomerase 17-hydroxylase, 17,20-desmolase, and 21-hydroxylase activities in the tumor and adjacent normal adrenal gland were measured. The tumor had - normal levels of 17- hydroxylase and 17,20-desmolase activity, with low levels of 21- hydroxylase and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-isomerase activities. This combination of enzyme activity may explain the absence of Cushing's syndrome and the high levels of Δ5 adrenal steroids. This patient demonstrates that adrenal neoplasms arising in girls may mimic isosexual true precocious puberty and should be included in the differential diagnosis of precocious puberty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-440
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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