Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

: 2012  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 843--845

A rare cause for primary amenorrhea: Sporadic perrault syndrome

KH Noorul Ameen, Rakesh Pinninti 
 Department of General Medicine, Government Stanley Hospital, Chennai, India

Correspondence Address:
Rakesh Pinninti
12/87, 4A, B Block, Doshi Apartments, West Mada Church Street, Royapuram, Chennai 13


Gonadal (ovarian) dysgenesis with normal chromosomes (46, XX), XX female gonadal dysgenesis (XX-GD) is a rare genetically heterogeneous disorder. In 1951, Perrault reported the association of gonadal dysgenesis and deafness, now referred to as Perrault syndrome. Perrault syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive condition affecting both females and males, only females have gonadal dysgenesis associated with sensorineural deafness which is present in both sexes. We present a case of Sporadic Perrault syndrome in a 35-year-old female with primary amenorrhea, sensorineural deafness, marfanoid features, and normal karyotype. There are very few case reports describing the condition, even lesser reports of association with marfanoid habitus. We report this case for its rarity and add to the spectrum of the disease that remains undetermined.

How to cite this article:
Noorul Ameen K H, Pinninti R. A rare cause for primary amenorrhea: Sporadic perrault syndrome.Indian J Endocr Metab 2012;16:843-845

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Noorul Ameen K H, Pinninti R. A rare cause for primary amenorrhea: Sporadic perrault syndrome. Indian J Endocr Metab [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 Nov 27 ];16:843-845
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A 35-year-old female patient presented to our medical outpatient department with complaints of palpitations and chest pain of 6 months duration. The patient had paroxysmal episodes of palpitations that lasted few minutes, resolved spontaneously not associated with exertion or other aggravating factors. The patient had chest pain that was retro-sternal, intermittent not related to exertion and resolved spontaneously. Frequency of patient's complaints had increased from 3 weeks prior to presentation. There was no history of significant medical illness in the past. She was born out of a nonconsanguineous marriage. She had an elder brother. There is no history of significant medical illness in the family. Menstrual history revealed that she never attained menarche. On examination, she had dolicocephaly, arachnodactyly, high arched palate, she was tall statured (height 165 cm; [Figure 1]), her arm span (176 cm) was more than her height, reduced upper-to-lower body segment ratio (0.83), and she had arachnodactyly with high metacarpal index [Figure 2], positive wrist and thumb sign. The patient had underdeveloped rudimentary breasts (Tanner stage 2), sparse pubic hair (Tanner stage 1), and absent axillary hair. She had normal external genitalia. Her vitals were normal. Cardiovascular examination revealed mid-systolic click with a late systolic murmur, other systems were essentially normal. Blood investigations showed normal hemogram. Her blood glucose, renal function tests, liver function tests, and serum electrolytes were within normal limits. Ultrasonogram of abdomen and pelvis showed atrophic uterus and streak ovaries. Echocardiogram ECHO/Doppler revealed prolapse of anterior mitral leaflet, mitral regurgitation, and normal left ventricular systolic function. The patient was further evaluated for possible causes of primary amenorrhea [Table 1]. She had low levels of estrogen (estradiol, 10 pg/ mL; normal 15-200 pg/ mL), serum testosterone (0.16 pg/mL, normal 0.6-6.8 pg/ mL), and progesterone (0.56 ng/mL). She had elevated levels of gonodotropins, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH, 101.3 IU/L), and luteinizing hormone (LH, 31.6 IU/L). Serum prolactin (12 ng/mL, normal 0-20 ng/ mL), and thyroid function tests (Free T4 - 9.2 mcg/ dL, normal 4.6- 11.2 mcg/dL; TSH - 3.49 mU/L, normal 0.4-5.0 mU/L) were normal. Her karyotype was normal (46XX). She was diagnosed with primary gonadal (ovarian) dysgenesis with Marfanoid features. Further audiometric evidence of mild bilateral sensorineural deafness completed the diagnosis of Perrault syndrome.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Table 1}


Perrault and his colleagues in 1951 published the first report on two sisters with gonadal dysgenesis and with additional sensorineural deafness. [1] Perrault syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive condition affecting both females and males, only females have gonadal dysgenesis associated with sensorineural deafness which is present in both sexes. [2] Aittomaki et al. [3] hypothesized that there is a form of ovarian dysgenesis that is inherited as an autosomal recessive, female-limited disorder. Gottschalk et al. [4] reviewed the neurologic anomalies in previous patients with Perrault syndrome. Neurologic data are available on 14 of 21 girls; 7 of 14 had neurologic abnormalities. They concluded that high incidence of neurologic anomalies suggest that ataxia or mental retardation may not be just coincidental findings, but pleiotropic manifestations of Perrault syndrome. Several reported cases have widened the spectrum of neurologic manifestations in Perrault syndrome. Marlin et al. [5] reported on two sporadic and two familial new cases with sensorineural hearing impairment and ovarian dysgenesis which are the cardinal signs of Perrault syndrome in females. Only one of them has a nervous system defect. Fiumara et al. [6] reported on two pairs of sisters with gonadal dysgenesis and deafness, cerebral, and ocular involvement who developed a progressive, severe sensory, and motor neuropathy. This observation constitutes further evidence of peripheral nervous system involvement in PS. On the basis of the clinical observations of known patients, two forms of PS may be distinguished: one apparently a nonprogressive form and another with apparently progressive axonal-cerebellar degeneration. Nishi et al. [7] reviewed 21 patients from the literature, added ataxic gait, pes equinovarus, nystagmus, limited extraocular movements to the spectrum of neurologic defects in PS. Nikolaou et al. [8] reported on a case of Sporadic PS in a child with no neurologic involvement. The common pathogenetic relationship between ovarian dysgenesis and sensorineural deafness is unclear. The onset of deafness was noted from 10 months to 31 years. Absence of deafness in a patient with XX female gonadal dysgenesis (XX-GD) does not rule out Perrault syndrome because the patients could develop deafness much later, at an older age. [9] Most patients had moderate-to-severe sensorineural deafness with mutism among patients with early-onset of deafness. The findings of abnormal body proportions noted in our patients have been previously reported by Jacob et al., [10] who observed two siblings with Perrault syndrome with Marfanoid habitus.

The pathogenetic basis for the PS is still unclear. No consistent gene mutation has been identified. Pierce et al. [11] studied a small family of mixed European ancestry includes two sisters with well-characterized Perrault syndrome. Whole-exome sequencing of genomic DNA from one of these sisters revealed exactly one gene with two rare functional variants: HSD17B4. Further studies on other families are awaited to confirm the homogeneity of the genetic defect and the underlying molecular defect.


Perrault syndrome is a rare cause of primary amenorrhea or ovarian dysgenesis, but should be considered in a female child with deafness/mutism. Several reported cases have some forms of neurologic deficit, but our patient did not have any obvious neurological signs or symptoms, but she had marfanoid habitus, an association that was described only once in the literature. [10] The Marfanoid features could be considered as a part of extended phenotype of Perrault syndrome.


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