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July 1964

Sexual Precocity: Association With Follicular Cysts of Ovary

Author Affiliations

Matthew M. Steiner, MD, 6354 N Broadway, Chicago, Ill 60626.; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Medical School and Attending Physician, The Children's Memorial Hospital (Dr. Steiner) and Fellow in Endocrinology, The Children's Memorial Hospital (Dr. Hadawi).; From the Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Medical School and the Division of Endocrinology, The Children's Memorial Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1964;108(1):28-36. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1964.02090010030004

The absence of a significant positive association between ovarian follicular cysts and sexual precocity in children has been the subject of many reports which affirm that such cysts are not responsible for premature onset of pubarche.1-4 Nonfunctioning ovarian cysts are commonly seen in autopsy specimens in normal children of all ages, and are considered to be physiologic.5-7 In a review of sections of the ovary in 35 patients from birth to age 7 years who exhibited no endocrinopathy, we noted physiologic cysts in almost all microscopic sections. Moreover, it appears that the extent of cystic enlargement is no criterion of ovarian activity since there are reports of large ovarian cysts, causing mechanical difficulties, which are neither functioning, autonomous nor associated with sexual precocity.8-18 Finally, Novak19 emphasized that such ovarian cysts do not function independently, following his experience with puncture of cysts in patients with constitutional sex

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