Isolated micropenis reveals partial androgen insensitivity syndrome confirmed by molecular analysis

Asian J Androl. 2010 Jul;12(4):561-6. doi: 10.1038/aja.2010.6. Epub 2010 Mar 22.


Partial androgen insensitivity syndrome (PAIS) is the milder variant of androgen receptor (AR) defects. The subtle effects of AR mutations present in a patient with micropenis, peno-scrotal hypospadias, infertility, clitoromegaly and posterior labial fusion. We studied the association of isolated micropenis with the genetic defects resulting in androgen resistance, that is, AR gene defects and 5-alpha reductase type 2 (SRD5A2) deficiency. We describe two cases of isolated micropenis: one in a 14-year-old boy and the other in a 3-year-old boy who was followed until he was 10 years old. There were no findings of hypospadias, cryptorchidism or gynecomastia in either of these patients. Serum gonadotrophin and androgen levels were obtained and karyotyping was done. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) stimulation testing assessed the functional capacity of the testes. DNA was extracted from peripheral leukocytes, and all exons of the SRD5A2 and AR genes were amplified by polymerase chain reaction and sequenced. In both patients, baseline testosterone (T) level was low and the values were elevated after hCG testing. The sequence of the SRD5A2 gene was normal in patient 1, and a heterozygous polymorphism, V89L, was found in patient 2. Two known mutations, P390S and A870V, were identified in patients 1 and 2, respectively. Mutations in the AR gene can be associated with isolated micropenis without other features of PAIS, such as hypospadias or gynecomastia. This underlines the importance of including AR gene analysis in the evaluation of isolated micropenis with normal plasma T to ensure proper management of the patient and appropriate genetic counseling for the family.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • 3-Oxo-5-alpha-Steroid 4-Dehydrogenase / deficiency
  • 3-Oxo-5-alpha-Steroid 4-Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Adolescent
  • Androgen-Insensitivity Syndrome / genetics*
  • Androgen-Insensitivity Syndrome / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Penis / abnormalities
  • Penis / drug effects
  • Receptors, Androgen / genetics*
  • Testosterone / therapeutic use


  • AR protein, human
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Testosterone
  • 3-Oxo-5-alpha-Steroid 4-Dehydrogenase