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Actas Urológicas Españolas

versión impresa ISSN 0210-4806


NISTAL, M. et al. Diagnostic value of the gonadal biopsy in the disorders of sex development. Actas Urol Esp [online]. 2007, vol.31, n.9, pp.1056-1075. ISSN 0210-4806.

The gonadal biopsy provides essential information for the identification, classification and early detection of neoplasias in patients with disorders of sex development. Histopathological findings in these cases must be analysed together with clinical, hormonal, genetic and molecular information before deciding a therapeutic option. Sexual differentiation is the result of multiple and complex genetic and endocrinal mechanisms; therefore, we first present the events taking place during gonadal embryonic development, focusing on the genetic mechanisms involved in sexual determination and the differentiation of the testis and the urogenital tract. In second place, we describe the different gonads in the intersexual states -in testicular regression syndrome, fibrous streak, testicular dysgenesis, streak testes, ovotestes and microscopically normal testes and ovaries-, highlighting the histological features and the differential findings that allow the pathologist to distinguish between these entities with the aid of clinical, genetic, hormonal and molecular information that are characteristic for each situation. In third place, we studied the incidence of neoplasias in gonadal dysgenesis, male pseudohermaphroditism and true hermaphroditism. Finally, we discuss the limitations of gonadal biopsy to achieve a correct diagnosis in the disorders of sex development.

Palabras clave : Disgenesia gonadal; Anorquia; Pseudohermafroditismo.

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