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Logo of jcinvestThe Journal of Clinical InvestigationCurrent IssueArchiveSubscriptionAbout the Journal
J Clin Invest. 1972 January; 51(1): 74–80.
PMCID: PMC332931

Serum Follicular-Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone as Measured by Radioimmunoassay Correlated with Sexual Development in Hypopituitary Subjects


Serum follicular-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) as determined by radioimmunoassay, were correlated with sexual development in 29 patients with hypopituitarism (ages 14.2-29.9 yr).

16 of 25 idiopathic hypopituitary patients (20 males and 5 females) exhibited some degree of sexual development. Stage III of sexual development or beyond was achieved by 12 of the 16. Of 13 patients with growth hormone (GH), adrenocortical-stimulating hormone (ACTH), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) deficiency, 8 did not develop beyond stage I. In contrast, five of six patients with GH deficiency without ACTH or TSH deficiency developed to stage III of sexual development or beyond. The mean (±sd) serum LH concentration while in stage I (4.3 ±0.9 mIU/ml) of eight patients (seven males and one female) who developed beyond stage I was significantly (P < 0.005) greater than the mean serum LH concentration (2.3 ±0.9 mIU/ml) in nine patients (seven males and two females) who had not developed beyond stage I. Mean serum FSH concentrations were not different.

Three of four males with organic hypopituitarism did not develop beyond stage I of sexual development.

Serum FSH and LH concentrations in the idiopathic and organic hypopituitary patients were more compatible with stage of sexual development than with age. A serum LH concentration below the range of normal for stage I of sexual development in a prepubertal patient suggests that the patient will remain sexually infantile as an adult.

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