In-utero exposure to DES results in incomplete gonadal development and, consequently, smaller testes and lower testosterone levels, 1983
A group of boys exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero who had earlier been found to have urogenital abnormalities were studied for evidence of later effects of DES on their health, physical development and hormonal status. They showed no difference in age at onset of puberty, development of sexual characteristics or hormone levels from boys of the same age who had not been exposed to DES. However, the exposed group tended to have smaller testes.
A group of 15 boys exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero who had earlier been found to have urogenital abnormalities and 25 controls participated in a comparative study of age of onset of puberty and of postpubertal hormone levels. The mean ages of the 2 groups were 15.1 and 15.8 years respectively. 4 criteria were used to determine onset of puberty: development of pubic hair, change of voice, shaving of facial hair, and onset of ejaculation. 60% of both the exposed group and control group fulfilled 3 of 4 criteria for the onset of puberty and were thus consider postpubertal. Median ages of onset of puberty determined from interviews were 13.9 for the exposed group and 13.8 for the control group. Mean heights of the prepubertal boys were 230.9 and 234.8 cm respectively and mean weights were 45.0 and 45.9 kg. Mean heights were also similar in the postpubertal group, at 278.2 and 280.9 cm, but mean weight of 69.5 in the exposed group was lower than the 76.8 kg of the control group was unremarkable. No substantial differences were detected in the geometric mean hormone levels of the 2 groups. However, postpubertal boys in the exposed group had significantly smaller testes: in 7 of 8 exposed boys but only 6 of 15 control subjects the testes were less than 3000 square millimeters in area. 1 exposed boy refused this part of the examination. 14 of the 15 exposed boys were currently asymptomatic with respect to their previous urogenital problems and 1 had persistent enuresis.
- Effect of in-utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol on age at onset of puberty and on postpubertal hormone levels in boys, Canadian Medical Association journal, NCBI PubMed PMC1875289, 1983.
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