Context: Most girls with Turner syndrome (TS) have hypergonadotropic hypogonadism and need hormonal replacement for induction of puberty and then for maintaining secondary sex characteristics, attaining peak bone mass, and uterine growth. The optimal estrogen replacement regimen is still being studied.
Evidence acquisition: We conducted a systematic search of PubMed for studies related to TS and puberty.
Evidence synthesis: The goals of replacement are to mimic normal timing and progression of physical and social development while minimizing risks. Treatment should begin at age 11 to 12 years, with dose increases over 2 to 3 years. Initiation with low-dose estradiol (E2) is crucial to preserve growth potential. Delaying estrogen replacement may be deleterious to bone and uterine health. For adults who have undergone pubertal development, we suggest transdermal estrogen and oral progestin and discuss other approaches. We discuss linear growth, lipids, liver function, blood pressure, neurocognition, socialization, and bone and uterine health as related to hormonal replacement.
Conclusion: Evidence supports the effectiveness of starting pubertal estrogen replacement with low-dose transdermal E2. When transdermal E2 is unavailable or the patient prefers, evidence supports use of oral micronized E2 or an intramuscular preparation. Only when these are unavailable should ethinyl E2 be prescribed. We recommend against the use of conjugated estrogens. Once progestin is added, many women prefer the ease of use of a pill containing both an estrogen and a progestin. The risks and benefits of different types of preparations, with examples, are discussed.