Intersex: four cases in one family.

Journal of pediatric urology

PubMedID: 18947719

Meijer RP, Groeneveld AE. Intersex: four cases in one family. J Pediatr Urol. 2007;3(2):137-41.
Intersex presents a unique challenge to modern medicine. Generally, patients with ambiguous genitalia present in the neonatal period. Due to functional failure of the assigned gender role, some patients may be discovered later in life, as in the presented cases. The four patients, all members of the same family and aged 23, 15, 13 and 4 years, presented with ambiguous genitalia. The family history revealed parental consanguinity and one additional case of genital ambiguity. The eldest two patients had developed gynaecomastia during puberty. Examination of the genitalia revealed penoscrotal hypospadias and bifid scrotum in all the four. Gonads were palpable bilaterally in three of the patients, but in the fourth only one gonad was palpable. Buccal smear was negative for sex chromatin in all the cases. On abdominal ultrasound Müllerian structures were found in the two eldest patients. The karyotype in all four cases was determined as 46XY. Gonadal biopsies revealed immature testicular tissue and azoospermia, as sometimes seen in cryptorchidism. We conclude that these cases should be classified as dysgenetic male pseudohermaphrodites, a rare variety of ambiguous genitalia. In agreement with the patients and their parents, they were assigned the male gender and surgery was performed accordingly. We stress the need for active involvement of patient and parents in the process of gender assignment and awareness of hasty decision making.