Delayed puberty

Adolesc Med. 2002 Feb;13(1):101-18, vii.


Normal puberty is a time of life and a process of development that results in full adult maturity of growth, sexual development, and psychosocial achievement. Delayed puberty describes the clinical condition in which the pubertal events start late (usually > +2.5 SD later than the mean) or are attenuated in progression. The differential diagnosis includes syndromes of low gonadotropin production, usually constitutional delay of growth and maturation associated with chronic disease, but also an array of gene-mediated disorders, and syndromes of primary gonadal dysfunction with hypergonadotropic hypogonadism, including Turner and Klinefelter syndromes, and a group of acquired and genetic abnormalities. Diagnostic assessment and varied therapeutic modalities are discussed. The issues of androgen or estrogen therapy are important to assess, and growth hormone treatment remains a difficult dilemma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent*
  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / deficiency
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism*
  • Gonadotropins / deficiency
  • Gonadotropins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / diagnosis*
  • Hypogonadism / metabolism
  • Hypogonadism / pathology
  • Male
  • Puberty, Delayed / diagnosis*
  • Puberty, Delayed / metabolism
  • Puberty, Delayed / pathology
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sex Factors


  • Gonadotropins
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone