What is the prognosis of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)?

Updated: Oct 06, 2020
  • Author: Thomas A Wilson, MD; Chief Editor: Sasigarn A Bowden, MD  more...
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Answer

With adequate medical and surgical therapy, the prognosis is good. However, problems with psychological adjustment are common and usually stem from the genital abnormality that accompanies some forms of congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

  • Short stature and infertility are common.

  • Gender identity in females with virilizing adrenal hyperplasia is usually female if female gender assignment is made early in life, if adequate medical and surgical support are provided, and if the family (and eventually the patient herself) is given adequate education to understand the disease.

  • Females with virilizing adrenal hyperplasia may have more masculine interests.

  • Females with adrenal hyperplasia have reduced fertility rates, but fertility is possible with good metabolic control.

  • Early death may occur if patients are not provided with stress doses of glucocorticoid in times of illness, trauma, or surgery.


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