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Congenital adrenal hyperplasia presenting as pelvic inflammatory disease in a phenotypic male: A case report

Lim, E  | Jeon, JY
Medicine, 99(2). : e18387-e18387, 2020
Journal Title
RATIONALE: Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is caused by various enzyme deficiencies, among which 21-hydroxylase (21-OH) deficiency accounts for more than 90% of cases. Neonatal screening became mandatory only a few decades ago. Many patients who were born before this went undiagnosed and some of the severely virilized females were raised as men.

PATIENT CONCERNS: A 58-year old man with a history of excisional surgery in the external genitalia when he was a toddler presented with three days of dysuria and low abdominal pain.

DIAGNOSIS: The patient's laboratory results showed leukocytosis and elevated C-reactive protein (CRP); thus, the physicians decided to perform a computed tomography (CT) scan. The CT demonstrated pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), left adrenal gland myelolipoma, and a mesenteric mass. Meanwhile, we suspected CAH based on the clinical history and assessed the patient's hormone levels. Seventeen-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OH-PG) was markedly elevated and the patient was diagnosed with classic simple virilizing CAH.

INTERVENTIONS: Intravenous antibiotics were administered, and positron emission tomography-CT (PET-CT) was performed to evaluate any metastases.

OUTCOMES: After 2 weeks of antibiotic treatment, CRP decreased to 0.12 mg/dL and PID was resolved. The patient opted for resection of the female genitalia along with the mesenteric and adrenal gland tumors in the near future, and was safely discharged.

LESSONS: The adrenal gland myelolipoma was thought to have developed as a result of a longstanding exposure to adrenocorticotropic hormone. There are controversies regarding the management of female genitalia in CAH patients who identify themselves as men. In this case, the physician and patient decided to remove the female genitalia because the surgery for the mesenteric mass was inevitable and there was a possibility of recurrent PID. To our knowledge, this is the first article to report primary mesenteric tumor in a CAH patient to date. In conclusion, patients who were born before neonatal screening for CAH became the mainstay, who are suspected to have CAH from their history, and present with abdominal pain must be diagnosed by performing an imaging study, testing levels of serum 17-OH-PG, and screening for female genitalia and adrenal gland myelolipoma.


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Journal Papers > School of Medicine / Graduate School of Medicine > Emergency Medicine
Journal Papers > School of Medicine / Graduate School of Medicine > Endocrinology & Metabolism
Ajou Authors
임, 은수  |  전, 자영
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