A male twin infant with skull deformity and elevated neonatal 17-hydroxyprogesterone: a prismatic case of P450 oxidoreductase deficiency

SA Wudy, MF Hartmann, Nicole Draper, Paul Stewart, Wiebke Arlt

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15 Citations (Scopus)


We report on a male twin infant who presented with brachy-turri-cephaly, frontal bossing, large anterior fontanelle, low set and malformed ears, and mild arachnodactyly. He had normal male genitalia. There was no evidence for maternal virilization during pregnancy. The pattern of malformations resembled Antley-Bixler-Syndrome (ABS). However, sequencing analysis of the fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 gene (FGFR2) did not reveal mutations. The boy's twin sister did not show any somatic or endocrine abnormalities. In the boy, neonatal screening for congenital adrenal hyperplasia was positive with moderately elevated 17-hydroxyprogesterone. Sequence analysis of his CYP21 gene did not reveal any mutations. The short synacthen test revealed an exaggerated 17-hydroxyprogesterone and a blunted cortisol response. Urinary steroid profiling by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) revealed a unique steroid metabolome suggestive of impaired activity of both 17-hydroxylase and 21-hydroxylase. Clinical and metabolic findings therefore were compatible with the recently described variant of congenital adrenal hyperplasia, P450 oxidoreductase deficiency (ORD). Subsequently, sequencing analysis of CPR, the gene encoding P450 oxidoreductase (OR), revealed a homozygous mutation in the patient, resulting in an amino acid exchange in position 284 of the OR protein (A284P). Both the female twin sister and the parents were heterozygous for the A284P mutation. P450 oxidoreductase deficiency represents a novel autosomal recessively inherited form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Its characteristic steroid metabolome can readily be detected by GC-MS analysis of spot urine. Clinical features may include an ABS phenotype, ambiguous genitalia (virilization in girls, feminization in boys), and glucocorticoid deficiency. If required, hydrocortisone replacement should be provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-964
Number of pages8
JournalEndocrine Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • P450 oxidoreductase
  • glucocorticoid deficiency
  • P450c21
  • P450c17
  • Antley-Bixler
  • P450 oxidoreductase deficiency


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