Journal of the Endocrine Society Journal Article

PAI in Young People in the UK (1993–2018)

August 09, 2021
 

Federica Buonocore, Avinaash Maharaj, Younus Qamar, Katrin Koehler, Jenifer P Suntharalingham, Li F Chan, Bruno Ferraz-de-Souza, Claire R Hughes, Lin Lin, Rathi Prasad, Jeremy Allgrove, Edward T Andrews, Charles R Buchanan, Tim D Cheetham, Elizabeth C Crowne, Justin H Davies, John W Gregory, Peter C Hindmarsh, Tony Hulse, Nils P Krone, Pratik Shah, M Guftar Shaikh, Catherine Roberts, Peter E Clayton, Mehul T Dattani, N Simon Thomas, Angela Huebner, Adrian J Clark, Louise A Metherell, John C Achermann
Journal of the Endocrine Society, Volume 5, Issue 8, August 2021, bvab086
https://doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvab086

Abstract

Context

Although primary adrenal insufficiency (PAI) in children and young people is often due to congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) or autoimmunity, other genetic causes occur. The relative prevalence of these conditions is poorly understood.

Objective

We investigated genetic causes of PAI in children and young people over a 25 year period.

Design, Setting and Participants

Unpublished and published data were reviewed for 155 young people in the United Kingdom who underwent genetic analysis for PAI of unknown etiology in three major research centers between 1993 and 2018. We pre-excluded those with CAH, autoimmune, or metabolic causes. We obtained additional data from NR0B1 (DAX-1) clinical testing centers.

Intervention and Outcome Measurements

Genetic analysis involved a candidate gene approach (1993 onward) or next generation sequencing (NGS; targeted panels, exomes) (2013-2018).

Results

A genetic diagnosis was reached in 103/155 (66.5%) individuals. In 5 children the adrenal insufficiency resolved and no genetic cause was found. Pathogenic variants occurred in 11 genes: MC2R (adrenocorticotropin receptor; 30/155, 19.4%), NR0B1 (DAX-1; 7.7%), CYP11A1 (7.7%), AAAS (7.1%), NNT (6.5%), MRAP (4.5%), TXNRD2 (4.5%), STAR (3.9%), SAMD9 (3.2%), CDKN1C (1.3%), and NR5A1/steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1; 0.6%). Additionally, 51 boys had NR0B1 variants identified through clinical testing. Although age at presentation, treatment, ancestral background, and birthweight can provide diagnostic clues, genetic testing was often needed to define the cause.

Conclusions

PAI in children and young people often has a genetic basis. Establishing the specific etiology can influence management of this lifelong condition. NGS approaches improve the diagnostic yield when many potential candidate genes are involved.

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