Reproductive hormones, bone mineral content, body composition, and testosterone therapy in boys and adolescents with Klinefelter syndrome

Endocr Connect. 2023 Jun 12;12(7):e230031. doi: 10.1530/EC-23-0031. Print 2023 Jul 1.


Adult patients with Klinefelter syndrome (KS) are characterized by a highly variable phenotype, including tall stature, obesity, and hypergonadotropic hypogonadism, as well as an increased risk of developing insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis. Most adults need testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), whereas the use of TRT during puberty has been debated. In this retrospective, observational study, reproductive hormones and whole-body dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry-derived body composition and bone mineral content were standardized to age-related standard deviation scores in 62 patients with KS aged 5.9-20.6 years. Serum concentrations of total testosterone and inhibin B were low, whereas luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone were high in patients before TRT. Despite normal body mass index, body fat percentage and the ratio between android fat percentage and gynoid fat percentage were significantly higher in the entire group irrespective of treatment status. In patients evaluated before and during TRT, a tendency toward a more beneficial body composition with a significant reduction in the ratio between android fat percentage and gynoid fat percentage during TRT was found. Bone mineral content (BMC) did not differ from the reference, but BMC corrected for bone area was significantly lower when compared to the reference. This study confirms that patients with KS have an unfavorable body composition and an impaired bone mineral status already during childhood and adolescence. Systematic studies are needed to evaluate whether TRT during puberty will improve these parameters.

Keywords: Klinefelter syndrome; body composition; bone mineral content; truncal obesity.