Home > Journals > Minerva Pediatrics > Past Issues > Articles online first > Minerva Pediatrics 2021 Jun 21



To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian


Publication history
Cite this article as



Minerva Pediatrics 2021 Jun 21

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5276.21.06512-5


language: English

Differences of sex development in the newborn: from clinical scenario to molecular diagnosis

Anastasia IBBA 1, Marta DEL PISTOIA 2, Antonio BALSAMO 3, Federico BARONIO 3, Donatella CAPALBO 4, Gianni RUSSO 5, Luisa DE SANCTIS 6, Carla BIZZARRI 7

1 Pediatric Endocrine Unit and Neonatal Screening Centre, Pediatric Hospital Microcitemico A. Cao, ARNAS Brotzu, Cagliari, Italy; 2 Division of Neonatology and NICU, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Santa Chiara University Hospital, Pisa, Italy; 3 Pediatric Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, S.Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, Bologna, Italy; 4 Department of Mother and Child, Paediatric Endocrinology Unit, University Hospital Federico II, Naples, Italy; 5 Endocrine Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Scientific Institute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy; 6 Pediatric Endocrinology Unit, Department of Public Health and Pediatric Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 7 Unit of Endocrinology, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital (IRCCS), Rome, Italy


Differences/disorders of sex development (DSD) are defined as a group of congenital conditions in which the development of chromosomal, gonadal or anatomical sex is atypical. The incidence of DSD is 1:4500 births. The current classification divides DSDs into 3 categories according to chromosomal sex: 46,XX DSD, 46,XY DSD and sex chromosome DSD. DSD phenotypes can be concordant with the genotype (apparently normal external genitalia associated with gonadal dysgenesis), or can range from simply hypospadias to completely masculinised or feminised genitalia with a discordant karyotype. Numerous genes implicated in genital development have been reported. The search of genetic variants represents a central element of the extended investigation, as an improved knowledge of the genetic aetiology helps the immediate and long-term management of children with DSDs, in term of sex of rearing, hormone therapy, surgery, fertility and cancer risk. This review aims to assess the current role of molecular diagnosis in DSD management.

KEY WORDS: Atypical genitalia; Differences of sex development; Disorders of sex development; Molecular diagnosis

top of page