Management of Klinefelter syndrome during transition

Eur J Endocrinol. 2014 Aug;171(2):R67-77. doi: 10.1530/EJE-14-0213. Epub 2014 May 6.


Klinefelter syndrome (KS) is the most common sex chromosomal disorder in males. Key findings in older adolescents and young men are small testes with variable hypo-androgenism, but almost universal azoospermia, most frequently in combination with a history of learning difficulties and behavior problems. Males with KS may come to medical attention through different medical presentations, given its association with several congenital malformations, and psychiatric, endocrine, and metabolic disorders. Preventive care is to be provided from diagnosis, preferentially through a multidisciplinary approach, including that from an endocrinologist, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, neurologist, urologist, geneticist, sexologist, and a fertility team. Accurate information about the condition and assessment of associated medical conditions should be offered at diagnosis and should be followed by psychological counseling. Medical treatment during transition into adulthood is focused on fertility preservation and testosterone replacement therapy in the case of hypo-androgenism, and alleviation of current or future consequences of testicular fibrosis. However, more research is needed to determine the need for pro-active testosterone treatment in adolescence, as well as the conditions for an optimal testosterone replacement and sperm retrieval in adolescents and young men with KS. Furthermore, screening for associated diseases such as metabolic syndrome, autoimmune diseases, thyroid dysfunction, and malignancies is warranted during this period of life. The practical medical management during transition and, more specifically, the role of the endocrinologist are discussed in this article.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Composition
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / diagnosis
  • Disease Management*
  • Fertility / genetics
  • Gynecomastia / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / therapy
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / psychology
  • Klinefelter Syndrome / therapy*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Sperm Retrieval
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Testosterone / therapeutic use
  • Young Adult


  • Testosterone