The weak androgen oxandrolone (Ox) increases height gain in growth-hormone (GH) treated girls with Turner syndrome (TS), but may also give rise to virilizing side effects. To assess the effect of Ox, at a conventional and low dosage, on behavior, aggression, romantic and sexual interest, mood, and gender role in GH-treated girls with TS, a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study was conducted. 133 patients were treated with GH (1.33 mg/m2/d) from baseline, combined with placebo (Pl), Ox 0.03 mg/kg/d, or Ox 0.06 mg/kg/d from the age of eight, and with estrogens from the age of 12. The child behavior checklist (CBCL), Junior Dutch Personality Questionnaire (DPQ-J), State-subscale of the Spielberger's State-Trait Anger Scale, Romantic and Sexual Interest Questionnaire, Mood Questionnaire, and Gender Role Questionnaire were filled out before, during, and after discontinuing Ox/Pl. The changes during Ox/Pl therapy were not significantly different between the dosage groups. In untreated patients, the mean CBCL total (P = 0.002) and internalizing (P = 0.003) T scores, as well as the mean DPQ-J social inadequacy SD score (SDS) (P = 0.004) were higher than in reference girls, but decreased during GH + Ox/Pl therapy (P < 0.001, P = 0.05, P < 0.001, respectively). Whereas the mean total (P = 0.01) and internalizing (P < 0.001) T score remained relatively high, the mean social inadequacy SDS became comparable with reference values. We conclude that in GH-treated girls with TS, Ox 0.03 mg/kg/d or 0.06 mg/kg/d does not cause evident psychological virilizing side effects. Problem behavior, frequently present in untreated girls with TS, decreases during therapy, but total and internalizing problem behavior remain increased.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Aggression, Androgen, Behavior, Estrogen replacement therapy, Gender role, Growth hormone, Mood, Oxandrolone, Sexuality, Turner syndrome
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2009.12.011, hdl.handle.net/1765/27655
Citation
Menke, L.A, Sas, T.C.J, Visser, M, Kreukels, B.P.C, Stijnen, Th, Zandwijken, G.R.J, … Cohen-Kettenis, P.T. (2010). The effect of the weak androgen oxandrolone on psychological and behavioral characteristics in growth hormone-treated girls with Turner syndrome. Hormones and Behavior, 57(3), 297–305. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2009.12.011