Management of Fully Pubertal Girls With Nonclassical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: Glucocorticoids Versus Oral Contraceptives

Liat de Vries*, Michal Baum, Michal Horovitz, Moshe Phillip, Galia Barash, Orit Pinhas-Hamiel, Liora Lazar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To compare clinical outcomes of 3 treatment regimens—glucocorticoids (GCs), oral contraceptives (OCs), or a combination of both—administered to adolescents and young women diagnosed in childhood with nonclassical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NCCAH), who had been treated with GCs until their adult height was achieved. Methods: A retrospective study of medical records of 53 female patients with NCCAH followed in 3 tertiary pediatric endocrinology institutes. The 3 treatment groups were compared for the prevalence of hirsutism and acne, standardized body mass index (BMI)-standard deviation score (SDS), and androgen levels at the attainment of adult height (baseline), 1-year later, and at the last documented visit. Results: At baseline, there were no significant differences among groups in BMI-SDS, androgen levels, hirsutism prevalence, acne, or irregular menses. From baseline to the last visit, the rate of hirsutism declined significantly only in the OC group (37.5% vs 6.2%, respectively; P =.03). The rate of acne declined in the combined group (50% vs 9%, respectively; P =.03) with a similar tendency in the OC group (50% vs 12.5%, respectively; P =.05). No significant changes were observed in BMI-SDS for the entire cohort or any subgroup during follow-up. A significant rise in androstenedione (P <.001), testosterone (P <.01), and 17-hydroxyprogesterone (P <.01) levels was observed only in the OC group. Conclusion: In girls diagnosed in childhood with NCCAH, who require treatment for hyperandrogenism following completion of linear growth, management should be tailored individually using a patient-centered approach. Treatment with OCs might be better than that with GCs for regression of hirsutism and acne. The long-term effects of elevated levels of androgens associated with this treatment regimen should be further studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • glucocorticoids
  • hirsutism
  • hyperandrogenism
  • nonclassical congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • oral contraceptives


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