BACKGROUND: Hypospadias affects around 1/200 newborn males. Intrauterine testicular dysfunction may underlie a subset of cases. The long-term endocrine and reproductive outcomes in these men remain largely unknown.
METHODS: Cross-sectional study in Ghent and Vienna University Hospitals to assess the endocrine and seminal parameters of young adult men (16-21 years) born with non-syndromic hypospadias (NSH) (n = 193) compared to healthy typical males (n = 50). Assessments included physical exam, semen analysis, hormone assays and exome-based gene panel analysis (474 genes).
FINDINGS: All participants had experienced a spontaneous puberty, in spite of higher LH and INSL3 levels than typical males. Oligo- or azoospermia was observed in 32/172 (18·6%; 99%-CI: 12·2-27·4%) of NSH men; but in 5/16 (31·3%; 99%-CI: 11·1;62·4%) of complex NSH men and in 13/22 (59·1%; 99%-CI: 33·2-80·7%) of those born small for gestational age (SGA). No (likely) pathogenic coding variants were found in the investigated genes. Suboptimal statural growth affected 8/23 (34·8%; 99%-CI: 15·4-61·0%) of men born SGA with NSH.
INTERPRETATION: Spermatogenesis is significantly compromised in NSH men, especially in those born SGA or those with complex NSH. Long-term andrological follow-up is recommended, including end-pubertal semen analysis. No clear monogenic causes could be demonstrated in our cohort even in proximal or complex NSH. Being born SGA with NSH is frequently associated with poor catch-up growth, requiring growth hormone therapy in some.
FUNDING: Research grants from the European Society of Paediatric Endocrinology, the Belgian Society of Pediatrics, the Belgian Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology and the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2022|