Klinefelter's syndrome

Lancet. 2004 Jul;364(9430):273-83. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(04)16678-6.


Klinefelter's syndrome is the most common genetic cause of human male infertility, but many cases remain undiagnosed because of substantial variation in clinical presentation and insufficient professional awareness of the syndrome itself. Early recognition and hormonal treatment of the disorder can substantially improve quality of life and prevent serious consequences. Testosterone replacement corrects symptoms of androgen deficiency but has no positive effect on infertility. However, nowadays patients with Klinefelter's syndrome, including the non-mosaic type, need no longer be considered irrevocably infertile, because intracytoplasmic sperm injection offers an opportunity for procreation even when there are no spermatozoa in the ejaculate. In a substantial number of azoospermic patients, spermatozoa can be extracted from testicular biopsy samples, and pregnancies and livebirths have been achieved. The frequency of sex chromosomal hyperploidy and autosomal aneuploidies is higher in spermatozoa from patients with Klinefelter's syndrome than in those from normal men. Thus, chromosomal errors might in some cases be transmitted to the offspring of men with this syndrome. The genetic implications of the fertilisation procedures, including pretransfer or prenatal genetic assessment, must be explained to patients and their partners.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Klinefelter Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Klinefelter Syndrome* / genetics
  • Klinefelter Syndrome* / pathology
  • Klinefelter Syndrome* / therapy
  • Male
  • Testis / pathology
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Testosterone / therapeutic use


  • Testosterone