Hirsutism and obesity in association with tumor of the adrenal gland1 were first noted almost two centuries ago. Sexual precocity was added to this syndrome in 1865.2 Finally hypertension was noted in cases of this disorder in 1897.3 The sexual changes were studied by Glynn4 and Gallais,5 who in 1912 independently reviewed the literature and emphasized the relationship of those changes to the age period in which changes in the adrenal cortex occur. 1. A tumor or hyperplasia of the adrenal cortex developing during the embryonic period may be associated with pseudohermaphroditism. 2. A like condition developing during early childhood may be associated with precocious obesity with or without sexual changes or (in the male) with the "infant Hercules" type. 3. The disorder when appearing during adolescence may cause adrenal virilism (otherwise called "genito-adrenal syndrome").
Glynn was not unmindful of the interrelationship between the pituitary