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Siham Hussein Subki, Raghad Wadea Mohammed Hussain, and Abdulmoein Eid Al-Agha


Congenital lipoid adrenal hyperplasia (CLAH) is characterized by a defect in the STAR protein-encoding gene that attenuates all steroidogenesis pathways. Herein, we present the first reported case in Saudi Arabia of a 46 XY, phenotypically female infant with an unfamiliar, darkened complexion compared to the family’s skin color. Based on the clinical and biochemical findings, CLAH was diagnosed and glucocorticoid replacement therapy was initiated. As a result, we suggest that pediatricians should always investigate the possibility of adrenal insufficiency when encountering unusual dark skin.

Learning points

  • Pediatricians should be prompted to rule out adrenal insufficiency in unexpectedly dark skin neonates.

  • In such patients, pediatricians should not wait until the neonate develops an adrenal crisis.

  • A low level of 17-hydroxyprogesterone does not always rule out the possibility of inherited adrenal gland disorders, and additional tests should be performed for early detection.