Different Medications for Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism

Giulia Rastrelli, Linda Vignozzi, Mario Maggi
Endocrine Development 2016, 30: 60-78
Delayed puberty (DP) in boys is the lack of sexual maturation at a chronological age of 14 years. Several conditions induce DP and they can be classified into reversible and irreversible causes. The most common cause of DP is constitutional delay of puberty (CDP; 63%), followed by DPs due to functional hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HH; 20%), congenital isolated HH (9%) and hypergonadotropic hypogonadism (7%). A correct diagnosis, although often difficult, is pivotal for choosing the most adequate therapy. In CDP boys, expectant management can be an option. However, patient's psychological distress can be attenuated by short-term low-dose testosterone therapy, which can induce male secondary sexual characteristics. When therapy is discontinued in CDP, pubertal development continues similarly to normal boys. Long-term testosterone therapy is the only option in boys with DP due to hypergonadotropic hypogonadism, whereas in subjects with HH, besides long-term testosterone, also gonadotropins and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) can be used. Gonadotropins and GnRH, besides inducing secondary sexual characteristics, can also induce testicular maturation and spermatogenesis. Other molecules, such as kisspeptin and neurokinin B agonists, are now under evaluation as new therapeutic options for treating DP.

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