Purpose of review
This review focuses on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, management and long-term outcomes of disorders of sex development, specifically women with Swyer syndrome (46,XY complete gonadal dysgenesis).
Recent discoveries have broadened our understanding of the complex pathways involved in normal and abnormal sex development. In 46,XY gonadal dysgenesis, lack of testis development may be triggered by sex determining region Y, NR5A1, DHH or testis-determining gene loss-of-function mutations, DAX1 or WNT4 duplication or MAP3K1 gain-of-function mutations. The diagnosis and management of patients with Swyer syndrome is complex, and optimal care requires an experienced multidisciplinary team. Early diagnosis is vital because of the significant risk of germ cell tumour, and bilateral gonadectomy should be performed. Furthermore, early sex hormone treatment is necessary to induce and maintain typical pubertal development and to achieve optimal bone mineral accumulation. Pregnancy is possible via ova donation, and outcomes are similar to women with 46,XX ovarian failure.
Further pathogenic gene mutations are likely to be identified, and the function, interaction and phenotypic effects of new and existing mutations will be further defined. Patients require long-term follow-up in specialist centres.