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Gonadal dysgenesis
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 Q99.1
ICD-9 758.6
MeSH D006059

Gonadal dysgenesis is a reproductive system development disorder. It is characterized by a progressive loss of primordial germ cells on the developing gonads of an embryo. This loss leads to extremely hypoplastic and disfunctioning gonads mainly composed of fibrous tissue, hence the name streak gonads.



During embryogenesis, without any external influences for or against, the human reproductive system is intrinsically conditioned to give rise to a female reproductive organisation. As a result, if a gonad cannot express its sexual identity via its hormones — as in gonadal dysgenesis — then the affected person, no matter whether genetically male or female, will develop both internal and external female genitalia.

In both sexes, the commencement and progression of puberty require functional gonads that will work in harmony with the hypothalamic and pituitary glands to produce adequate hormones. For this reason, in gonadal dysgenesis the accompanying hormonal failure also prevents the development of secondary sex characteristics in either sex, resulting in a sexually infantile female appearance and infertility.


This condition will occur if there is an absence of both Mullerian inhibiting factor and testosterone. The absence of testosterone will result in regression of the Wolffian ducts; normal male internal reproductive tracts will not develop. The absence of Mullerian inhibiting factor will allow the Mullerian ducts to differentiate into the oviducts and uterus. In sum, this individual will be genotypically male (i.e., XY), yet will possess female-like internal and external reproductive characteristics.


The condition may be due to:

See also


  • Al-Awadi, Sadika A. MD. "Mixed Gonadal Dysgenesis with Structural Anomalies of the Y-Chromosome. Kuwait Medical Genetics Center, Maternity Hospital, 1994.
  • Berhrman, Richard E. MD. Nelson textbook of Pediatrics, W.B. Saunders London, 14th edition, 1992. "45,X/46,XY Gonadal Dysgenesis."
  • Kaplan Q-bank, Step 1, USMLE (2007)
  • Klug, William S. and Cummings, Michael R. Concepts of Genetics, 4th edition, Prentice Hall NJ. 1994. "The Y-Chromosome and Male Development"
  • Olson, GP. "Testicular feminization Syndrome", American Journal of Primary Health Care. Feb.1988.


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