Prenatal treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia: a promising experimental therapy of unproven safety

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 1998 Sep;9(7):290-3. doi: 10.1016/s1043-2760(98)00068-x.


The long-term safety of the prenatal treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) has not been established, and it remains an experimental therapy that raises unique ethical questions. Prenatal treatment should be performed only according to controlled, prospective, peer-reviewed protocols carried out according to strict scientific and ethical standards. Such studies must incorporate detailed, decades-long follow-up to permit accurate appraisal of its efficacy and safety, especially among the seven of eight fetuses who receive unneeded treatment.