BACKGROUND: Patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) are at risk of vascular and metabolic complications due to steroid therapy and increased adrenal androgens exposure.
OBJECTIVE: of the study was to evaluate the relation between patient's genotype and (1) intima media thickness of abdominal aorta (AIMT) and common carotid arteries (CIMT) and (2) metabolic profile.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: In 71 patients (27 boys) aged from 1.5 to 17.9 years, with 21-hydroxylase deficiency (21OHD) CAH: 9 with nonclassic (NC) CAH, 62 with classic CAH: 10 with simple virilising (SV) and 52 with salt wasting (SW) CAH (13-Del/Del, 8-Del/I2G, 7-I2G/I2G and 24-other genotypes), and in 77 lean and 36 normotensive obese, age and gender matched controls, assessment of CIMT and AIMT as well as hormonal and biochemical evaluation were performed.
RESULTS: The highest AIMT was observed in SW Del/Del and I2G/I2G groups and the highest CIMT in SV CAH subgroup. CIMT and AIMT correlated significantly with testosterone and free androgen index (FAI), and were significantly higher in patients with advanced bone age and obesity independent. Significantly higher HOMA, testosterone and FAI values were found in SV CAH.
CONCLUSION: In CAH patients CIMT and AIMT are influenced by androgens and obesity independent. In the examined group vascular and metabolic abnormalities are pronounced more in certain subgroups of CAH (SV and SW: Del/Del) and in patients with advanced bone age.