Genotype-Specific Cortisol Reserve in a Cohort of Subjects With Nonclassic Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (NCCAH)

Ilana Koren, Naomi Weintrob, Rebekka Kebesch, Hussein Majdoub, Nili Stein, Shulamit Naor, Anat Segev-Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CONTEXT: Recent guidelines suggest that patients with nonclassic congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NCCAH) stop glucocorticoid therapy after achieving adult height. However, these guidelines do not differentiate between NCCAH genotype groups. OBJECTIVE: Compare ACTH-stimulated cortisol and 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17OHP) levels, and the rate of partial cortisol insufficiency in subjects with NCCAH carrying one mild and one severe (mild/severe) mutation vs subjects with biallelic mild (mild/mild) mutations. METHODS: Retrospective evaluation of the medical records of 122 patients who presented with postnatal virilization and were diagnosed with NCCAH. Patients underwent standard intravenous 0.25 mg/m2 ACTH stimulation testing. Those with stimulated 17OHP level ≥40 nmol/L were screened for the 9 most frequent CYP21A2 gene mutations followed by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification. A stimulated cortisol level below 500 nmol/L was defined as partial cortisol deficiency. RESULTS: Patients were subdivided into 3 genotype groups: 77 carried the mild/mild genotype, mainly homozygous for p.V281L mutation; 29 were compound heterozygous for mild/severe mutation, mainly p.V281L/p.I2Splice, and 16 were heterozygous for p.V281L, and were excluded from statistical evaluation. Stimulated cortisol levels were significantly lower in the mild/severe than in the mild/mild group (mean ± SD, 480 ± 90 vs 570 ± 125 nmol/L, P < .001). The mild/severe group exhibited a significantly higher rate of partial cortisol insufficiency (21/28, 75% vs 28/71, 39%, P = .004). Peak 17OHP was significantly higher in the mild/severe group (198 ± 92 vs 118 ± 50 nmol/L, P < .001). CONCLUSION: The high rate of partial adrenal insufficiency in the mild/severe group underscores the need to carefully consider the value of glucocorticoid therapy cessation and the importance of stress coverage in this group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-857
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - 20 Feb 2024


  • 17-hydroxyprogesterone
  • adrenal insufficiency
  • cortisol
  • genotype
  • nonclassic congenital adrenal hyperplasia


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