Klinefelter syndrome in clinical practice

Nat Clin Pract Urol. 2007 Apr;4(4):192-204. doi: 10.1038/ncpuro0775.


Klinefelter syndrome is the most common sex-chromosome disorder; it affects approximately one in every 660 men. This syndrome is characterized by the presence of one or more extra X chromosomes, and the karyotype 47,XXY is the most prevalent type. The 'prototypic' man with Klinefelter syndrome has traditionally been described as tall, with narrow shoulders, broad hips, sparse body hair, gynecomastia, small testicles, androgen deficiency, azoospermia and decreased verbal intelligence. A less distinct phenotype has, however, been described. Klinefelter syndrome is an underdiagnosed condition; only 25% of the expected number of patients are diagnosed, and of these only a minority are diagnosed before puberty. Patients with Klinefelter syndrome should be treated with lifelong testosterone supplementation that begins at puberty, to secure proper masculine development of sexual characteristics, muscle bulk and bone structure, and to prevent the long-term deleterious consequences of hypogonadism; however, the optimal testosterone regimen for patients with Klinefelter syndrome remains to be established.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Chromosomes, Human, X*
  • Congenital Abnormalities / diagnosis
  • Congenital Abnormalities / epidemiology
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Gynecomastia / genetics
  • Gynecomastia / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / genetics
  • Infertility, Male / physiopathology
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / genetics
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Testis / physiopathology
  • Testosterone / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Testosterone