Virilization in female newborns typically results from congenital adrenal hyperplasia, requiring immediate diagnosis and treatment. We report a rare cause of virilization, maternal pregnancy luteoma, responsible for virilization of both a newborn and the mother. Luteomas are usually asymptomatic tumour-like ovarian lesions of pregnancy that secrete androgens in only 25% of cases. Many female infants born to masculinized mothers will also be virilized.
A term infant born with ambiguous genitalia was transferred to a referral centre for investigation, diagnosis, and treatment. Assessment identified Prader II-III genitalia, an elevated serum testosterone level, a normal serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone level, and a normal female karyotype (46,XX). The mother had had virilization from the second trimester and was found to have an elevated serum testosterone level. Pelvic ultrasound assessment in the mother showed a complex right ovarian mass. Laparotomy was performed, and the mass was excised. Histopathology examination confirmed a luteoma.
High maternal serum testosterone levels due to a luteoma can result in virilization in the female newborn. This report emphasizes the need to consider possible underlying maternal pathology in evaluating a virilized female infant.