Urogenital Abnormalities in Adenosine Deaminase Deficiency

Roberta Pajno, Lucia Pacillo, Salvatore Recupero, Maria P. Cicalese, Francesca Ferrua, Federica Barzaghi, Silvia Ricci, Antonio Marzollo, Silvia Pecorelli, Chiara Azzari, Andrea Finocchi, Caterina Cancrini, Gigliola Di Matteo, Gianni Russo, Massimo Alfano, Arianna Lesma, Andrea Salonia, Stuart Adams, Claire Booth, Alessandro Aiuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Improved survival in ADA-SCID patients is revealing new aspects of the systemic disorder. Although increasing numbers of reports describe the systemic manifestations of adenosine deaminase deficiency, currently there are no studies in the literature evaluating genital development and pubertal progress in these patients. Methods: We collected retrospective data on urogenital system and pubertal development of 86 ADA-SCID patients followed in the period 2000–2017 at the Great Ormond Street Hospital (UK) and 5 centers in Italy. In particular, we recorded clinical history and visits, and routine blood tests and ultrasound scans were performed as part of patients’ follow-up. Results and Discussion: We found a higher frequency of congenital and acquired undescended testes compared with healthy children (congenital, 22% in our sample, 0.5–4% described in healthy children; acquired, 16% in our sample, 1–3% in healthy children), mostly requiring orchidopexy. No urogenital abnormalities were noted in females. Spontaneous pubertal development occurred in the majority of female and male patients with a few cases of precocious or delayed puberty; no patient presented high FSH values. Neither ADA-SCID nor treatment performed (PEG-ADA, BMT, or GT) affected pubertal development or gonadic function. Conclusion: In summary, this report describes a high prevalence of cryptorchidism in a cohort of male ADA-SCID patients which could represent an additional systemic manifestation of ADA-SCID. Considering the impact urogenital and pubertal abnormalities can have on patients’ quality of life, we feel it is essential to include urogenital evaluation in ADA-SCID patients to detect any abnormalities, initiate early treatment, and prevent long-term complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-618
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2020


  • cryptorchidism
  • pubertal development
  • puberty
  • undescended testis
  • urogenital abnormalities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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