Maternal first trimester serum levels of free-beta human chorionic gonadotrophin and male genital anomalies

F.J. Schneuer, C. Bower, A.J.A. Holland, V. Tasevski, S.E. Jamieson, A. Barker, L. Lee, J.A. Majzoub, N. Nassar

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8 Citations (Web of Science)
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© 2016 The Author.
Study Question Are maternal first trimester levels of serum free-beta hCG associated with the development of hypospadias or undescended testis (UDT) in boys? Summary Answer Overall, first trimester maternal levels of serum free-beta hCG are not associated with hypospadias or UDT. However, elevated levels were found in severe phenotypes (proximal hypospadias and bilateral UDT) suggesting an altered pathway of hormonal release in early pregnancy. What is Known Already Human chorionic gonadotrophin peaks in first trimester of pregnancy stimulating fetal testosterone production, which is key to normal male genital development. Endocrine-disrupting insults early in pregnancy have been associated with increased risk of common genital anomalies in males such as hypospadias and UDT. One plausible etiological pathway is altered release of hCG. Study Design, Size, Duration We conducted a record-linkage study of two separate populations of women attending first trimester aneuploidy screening in two Australian states, New South Wales (NSW) and Western Australia (WA), in 2006-2009 and 2001-2003, respectively. Participants/Materials, Setting, Methods Included were women who gave birth to a singleton live born male infant. There were 12 099 boys from NSW and 10 518 from WA included, of whom 90 and 77 had hypospadias; and 107 and 109 UDT, respectively. Serum levels of free-beta hCG were ascertained from laboratory databases and combined with relevant birth outcomes and congenital anomalies via record linkage of laboratory, birth, congenital anomalies and hospital data. Median and quartile levels of gestational age specific free-beta hCG multiple of the median (MoM) were compared between affected and unaffected boys. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between levels of free-beta hCG MoM and hypospadias or UDT, stratified by suspected placental dysfunction and co-existing anomalies. Where relevant, pooled analysis was conducted. Main Results and the Role of Chance There was no difference in
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1895-1903
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


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