What is the mortality/morbidity associated with microphallus?

Updated: Nov 30, 2020
  • Author: Karen S Vogt, MD; Chief Editor: Sasigarn A Bowden, MD  more...
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When micropenis is associated with hypopituitarism and hypoadrenalism, the infant can develop hypoglycemia, electrolyte abnormalities, hypotension, and shock. Infants with midline defects and those with optic nerve hypoplasia or aplasia deserve particular attention because these defects can be associated with pituitary hormone deficiencies. Failure to recognize this association in an ill neonate can result in death. Infants who survive the newborn period may exhibit varying degrees of poor growth and failure to thrive, depending on potential associated hormone deficiencies or genetic syndrome.

Psychosocial concerns can arise over issues such as gender identity, normal standing urination, physical appearance, and sexual performance. These concerns should be addressed with early evaluation, treatment and counseling, if appropriate.

In cases of extreme micropenis, especially if associated with other genital anomalies (eg, cryptorchidism, hypospadias), gender reassignment is sometimes considered. However, the family should be intimately involved in this decision, and counseling from a center with a multidisciplinary team skilled at gender reassignment should be pursued.

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