Undetectable anti-Mullerian hormone and inhibin B do not preclude the presence of germ cell tumours in 45,X/46,XY or 46,XY gonadal dysgenesis

Sabine E. Hannema*, Katja P. Wolffenbuttel, Yolande van Bever, Hennie T. Brüggenwirth, Sjoerd A. A. van den Berg, Remko Hersmus, J.  Wolter Oosterhuis, Leendert H. J. Looijenga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: Individuals with 45,X/46,XY or 46,XY gonadal dysgenesis are at increased risk of germ cell malignancies. Therefore, prophylactic bilateral gonadectomy is advised in girls and considered in boys with atypical genitalia for undescended, macroscopically abnormal gonads. However, severely dysgenetic gonads may not contain germ cells rendering gonadectomy unnecessary. Therefore, we investigate if undetectable preoperative serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and inhibin B can predict the absence of germ cells, (pre)malignant or otherwise. Design, Patients and Measurements: Individuals who had undergone bilateral gonadal biopsy and/or gonadectomy because of suspected gonadal dysgenesis in 1999–2019 were included in this retrospective study if preoperative AMH and/or inhibin B were available. Histological material was reviewed by an experienced pathologist. Haematoxylin and eosin and immunohistochemical stainings for SOX9, OCT4, TSPY and SCF (KITL) were used. Results: Thirteen males and 16 females were included, 20 with 46,XY and 9 with 45,X/46,XY DSD. Three females had dysgerminoma alongside gonadoblastoma; two gonadoblastoma, one germ cell neoplasia in situ (GCNIS) and three males had pre-GCNIS and/or pre-gonadoblastoma. Gonadoblastoma and/or dysgerminoma were present in 3/11 individuals with undetectable AMH and inhibin B, one of whom also had non-(pre)malignant germ cells. Of the other 18, in whom AMH and/or inhibin B were detectable, only one had no germ cells. Conclusions: Undetectable serum AMH and inhibin B cannot reliably predict the absence of germ cells and germ cell tumours in individuals with 45,X/46,XY or 46,XY gonadal dysgenesis. This information should help in counselling about prophylactic gonadectomy, taking into account both the germ cell cancer risk and potential for gonadal function.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Early online date2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

Cite this