Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a multisystemic complex genetic disorder related to the lack of a functional paternal copy of chromosome 15q11-q13. Several clinical manifestations are reported, such as short stature, cognitive and behavioral disability, temperature instability, hypotonia, hypersomnia, hyperphagia, and multiple endocrine abnormalities, including growth hormone deficiency and hypogonadism. The hypogonadism in PWS is due to central and peripheral mechanisms involving the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. The early diagnosis and management of hypogonadism in PWS are both important for physicians in order to reach a better quality of life for these patients. The aim of this study is to summarize and investigate causes and possible therapies for hypogonadism in PWS. Additional studies are further needed to clarify the role of different genes related to hypogonadism and to establish a common and evidence-based therapy.
Keywords: Prader-Willi syndrome; chromosome 15 abnormalities; genomic imprinting; hypogonadism.