Article

True Hermaphroditism: Report of a Case With Chromosomal Analysis

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Abstract

THE word hermaphrodite comes from the myth of Hermaphroditus, a son of Hermes and Aphrodite, who, while bathing became joined in one body with a nymph. The clinical term describes a person who possesses both male and female organs, and many subdescriptions are used. The term pseudohermaphrodite is misleading and ambiguous, and should be used with care in describing a clinical situation, particularly when masculinization of a female or femininization of a male is produced by disease or drugs.

This report describes a true hermaphrodite who was proved to have both male and female gonads and, in particular, describes an unusual chromosomal pattern in the cells of this person.

Report of a Case

A 12½-year-old boy was first examined at the Cleveland Clinic in September 1960. At the age of 10 years he had been examined by another physician because of urethral hypospadias and absence of scrotal testes. The referring physician stated that the hypospadias was repaired and a left orchiopexy was attempted. The left inguinal contents had been described as “atrophic” and fixed in the groin, and they were therefore removed; microscopic examination showed a hernial sac containing immature ovary, uterus, and fallopian tubes. Examination of the contents of the sac on the right side showed the presence of a fallopian tube with an immature ovary and an immature testis. He had been taking fluoxymesterone,* 2 mg. daily, for approximately-one and one-half years before examination here, and had gained some increase in stature.

On examination here, he was 53⅜ . . .


 

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