Should the definition of micropenis vary according to ethnicity?

Horm Res. 2001;55(6):278-81. doi: 10.1159/000050013.


Objective: We determined whether the existing reference values for the diagnosis of micropenis are appropriate for optimal care of neonates in a multiethnic environment like Vancouver.

Methods: The stretched penile length and width were measured in 105 full-term newborn males of Caucasian (n = 40), Chinese (n = 40) and East-Indian origin (n = 25).

Results: Mean length -2.5 SD was used for the definition of micropenis and was 2.6, 2.5 and 2.3 cm for Caucasian, East-Indian and Chinese babies, respectively (p < 0.05). This is close to the widely accepted recommendation that a penile length of 2.4- 2.5 cm be considered as the lowest limit for the definition of micropenis.

Conclusion: Mean penile length and diameter are slightly but significantly smaller in newborns of Chinese origin compared to newborns of Caucasian and East-Indian origins.

MeSH terms

  • Asian People*
  • Canada
  • China / ethnology
  • Congenital Abnormalities / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Indonesia / ethnology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Penis / abnormalities*
  • Terminology as Topic*
  • White People*