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Congenital adrenal hyperplasia 

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

Nils Krone

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date: 27 January 2022

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) represents a group of autosomal recessive disorders of steroidogenesis caused by defects in steroidogenic enzymes involved in glucocorticoid synthesis or in enzymes providing cofactors to steroidogenic enzymes (1, 2). Congenital lipoid adrenal hyperplasia (CLAH) caused by steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) deficiency is distinct in origin and presentation from the conventional variants of CAH, with the unique feature of lipid accumulation subsequently leading to destruction of adrenal function. This chapter will also mention aldosterone synthase deficiency, which is the only defect in adrenal steroidogenesis causing deficient mineralocorticoid biosynthesis without affecting glucocorticoid biosynthesis. The disorder cannot strictly be considered a CAH variant as it does not result in increased ACTH drive and thus not in adrenal hyperplasia.

Novel forms of CAH have emerged during recent years. These include P450 oxidoreductase deficiency (ORD), P450 side-chain cleavage (CYP11A1) deficiency, the nonclassic form of CLAH (StAR deficiency), and apparent cortisone reductase deficiency. All forms of congenital adrenal hyperplasia resemble a disease continuum spanning from mild nonclassic presentations to classic onset with severe signs and symptoms.

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