We have studied growth and adrenal dehydroepiandrosterone (DHA) responses to iv synthetic andrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH, Cortrosyn) in 6 girls with gonadal dysgenesis before and during treatment with low-dose ethinyloestradiol (EOe2). In all patients there was a statisfactory induction of secondary sexual characteristics including increase in breasts and pubic hair and onset of withdrawal bleeding within 6 months of therapy. Height velocity increased from 2.8 ± 0.9 cm/year pre-treatment to 5.3 ± 1.5 cm/year (P<0.02) in the first year. There was deceleration to 1.9 ± 1.1 cm/year in the second year. There was no disproportionate advancement in bone age and thus, presumably, no loss of ultimate height. We could demonstrate no change in basal or ACTH-stimulated levels of DHA, a specific adrenal androgen, to account for the increased pubic hair and growth in these patients.
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