A case-control study of cryptorchidism and maternal hormone concentrations in early pregnancy.
Key TJ., Bull D., Ansell P., Brett AR., Clark GM., Moore JW., Chilvers CE., Pike MC.
Serum samples taken between 6 and 20 weeks of gestation were obtained from 28 mothers who gave birth to cryptorchid sons (cases) and from 108 control mothers. In comparison with controls the cases had 10% higher geometric mean oestradiol (95% CI -13% to +39%: P=0.42) and 10% lower geometric mean testosterone (95% CI -27% to +10%: P=0.30). Among the samples collected between 6 and 14 weeks of gestation geometric mean concentrations of oestradiol and testosterone were 5% lower (95% CI -32% to +31%: P=0.74) and 25% lower (95% CI -45% to +1%: P=0.06) respectively in cases than in controls. Among the samples collected between 15 and 20 weeks of gestation geometric mean concentrations of oestradiol and testosterone were 29% higher (95% CI -8% to +79%: P=0.14) and 21% higher (95% CI -8% to +60%: P=0.18) respectively in cases than in controls. The results do not support the hypothesis that cryptorchidism may be caused by high concentrations of oestradiol in the maternal blood during the first phase of testicular descent, but suggest that the possible association of cryptorchidism with low maternal testosterone during early gestation should be further investigated.