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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 591012, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/591012
Research Article

A Network Investigation on Idiopathic Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism in China

1Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, China
2Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Shanghai Institute of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China

Received 15 October 2013; Accepted 12 November 2013

Academic Editor: Maria L. Dufau

Copyright © 2013 Weiwei Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) is a rare condition in which puberty does not take place naturally. We aimed to develop and follow an internet-based cohort and to improve our understanding of the disease. We established an internet-based questionnaire survey. A total of 74 male IHH patients were recruited from the Chinese largest IHH network social group. The clinical symptoms before treatment mainly included small testis, underdeveloped secondary sexual characteristics, and sexual dysfunction. After treatment, the penis length, testicular volume, external genital organ development, pubic hair, beard, laryngeal prominence, erection, and spermatorrhea were improved significantly ( ). 18.9% of the patients completed fertility; however, more than half of the patients still complained of poor happiness and low physical strength. In addition, improvements in penis and pubic hair development, testosterone normalization and the physical strength in IHH patients who received gonadotropin and androgen replacement therapy were better than in those who received single gonadotropin therapy ( for all). In conclusion, disease-specific network investigation can be used as an alternative method of medical research for rare diseases. The results of our cross-sectional study showed the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy for IHH and implied that gonadotropin and androgen replacement therapy may be superior to gonadotropin treatment alone.