The predictive role of pelvic magnetic resonance in the follow up of spontaneous or induced puberty in turner syndrome

Ital J Pediatr. 2018 Feb 13;44(1):24. doi: 10.1186/s13052-018-0458-0.


Puberty is a critical age for patients with Turner syndrome (TS): infertility is reported to be linked to karyotype and spontaneous puberty and menarche occur in approximately 30% of patients, especially in mosaicism. However, it is not always predictable considering hormonal pattern and pelvic transabdominal ultrasound scan (US).The aim of the study is to compare the accuracy of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and US to evaluate uterine and gonads volume, to visualize the presence of follicles and to predict spontaneous puberty and menarche in girls with TS. In a retrospective study, we evaluated 19 TS patients (age: 9-16 years), who underwent transabdominal pelvic US and pelvic MRI as required by parents. We correlated pelvic imaging with karyotype, hormonal data and pubertal outcome, and we compared US resolution to MRI.MRI revealed a higher accuracy in the study of uterus and ovaries, and permitted to measure ovaries not visualized by US. Ovarian volume, the presence of follicles and the occurrence of spontaneous puberty were not related to the karyotype; spontaneous puberty started in one patient with a karyotype 45,X and in two patients with mosaicism (45,X/46,XX; 47,XXX/45, X). Ovarian follicles were relieved by MRI in patients with a spontaneous menarche and the persistence of menstrual cycles correlated with an ovarian volume corresponding to Tanner stage 3-4. We stress the role of MRI in the follow-up of TS adolescents, guide in the choice of the timing of treatment.

Keywords: Hypogonadism; Infertility; Magnetic resonance imaging; Turner syndrome; Ultrasonography.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Menarche / physiology*
  • Organ Size
  • Ovary / diagnostic imaging
  • Pelvis / diagnostic imaging
  • Prognosis
  • Puberty / genetics*
  • Puberty / physiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Turner Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Turner Syndrome / genetics
  • Turner Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler
  • Uterus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Young Adult