Prevalence of olfactory and other developmental anomalies in patients with central hypogonadotropic hypogonadism
Della Valle E, Vezzani S, Rochira V, Granata AR, Madeo B, Genovese E, Pignatti E, Marino M, Carani C, Simoni M. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2013 Jun 7;4:70. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2013.00070. Print 2013.


Unit and Chair of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia , Modena , Italy.


Introduction: Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HH) is a heterogeneous disease caused by mutations in several genes. Based on the presence of hyposmia/anosmia it is distinguished into Kallmann syndrome (KS) and isolated HH. The prevalence of other developmental anomalies is not well established. Methods: We studied 36 patients with HH (31 males, 5 females, mean age 41.5), 9 with familial and 27 with sporadic HH (33 congenital, 3 adult-onset), by physical examination, smell test (BSIT Sensonics), audiometry, renal ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging of the olfactory structures. Results: Based on the smell test, patients were classified as normosmic (n = 21, 58.3%) and hypo/anosmic (n = 15, 41.6%). Hypoplasia/agenesis of olfactory bulbs was found in 40% of patients (10/25; 75% hypo/anosmic, 7.6% normosmic, p < 0.01, Fisher's test). Remarkably, olfactory structures were normal in two anosmic patients, while one normosmic patient presented a unilateral hypoplastic bulb. Fourteen of 33 patients (42.4%) presented neurosensorial hearing loss of various degrees (28.5% hypo/anosmic, 52.6% normosmic, p = NS). Renal ultrasound revealed 27.7% of cases with renal anomalies (26.6% hypo/anosmic, 28.5% normosmic, p = NS). At least one midline defect was found in 50% of the patients (53.3% hypo/anosmic, 47.6% normosmic, p = NS), including abnormal palate, dental anomalies, pectus excavatum, bimanual synkinesis, iris coloboma, and absent nasal cartilage. Anamnestically 4/31 patients reported cryptorchidism (25% hypo/anosmic, 5.2% normosmic, p = NS). Conclusion: Hypo/anosmia is significantly related to anatomical anomalies of the olfactory bulbs/tracts but the prevalence of other developmental anomalies, especially midline defects and neurosensorial hearing loss, is high both in HH and KS and independent of the presence of anosmia/hyposmia. From the clinical standpoint KS and normosmic HH should be considered as the same complex, developmental disease.