Oestrogen and progesterone receptors in bilateral and unilateral pubertal gynecomastia – is treatment with anti-oestrogens justified?

Kaja Giżewska-Kacprzak, Jacek Materny, Elżbieta Gawrych, Katarzyna Karpińska-Kaczmarczyk, Magdalena Lewandowska



Introduction: Pubertal gynecomastia (PG) is abenign enlargement of the breast that affects more than half of boys in puberty. In unclear aetiology there is noexplanation for unilateral cases. The most common treatment in persistent cases is surgical removal, but this is associated with certain risks.

The aim of the study is tocompare oestrogen receptors (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR) status in unilateral and bilateral PG, and topresent possible clinical application of the results.

Materials and methods: Aretrospective review of 30 patients operated onfor PG was performed with immunohistochemical analysis of ER and PR in the resected tissue. Unilateral (8) and bilateral (22) cases were compared.

Results: Oestrogen and progesterone receptors were present in all of the examined specimens. There was asignificantly higher percentage of ER and PR positive nuclei in tissue from bilateral PG than in material from unilateral cases. Apositive correlation between the presence of ER and PR was found. Age at the time of surgery was not asignificant factor.

Conclusions: Oestrogen and progesterone receptors may play arole in the aetiology of PG, especially in bilateral cases. Our results are agood starting point for studies ondifferences between unilateral and bilateral PG. There is aneed for randomized placebo controlled trials onthe use of anti-oestrogen drugs toexplore pharmacological alternatives tosurgical treatment of PG.


pubertal gynecomastia; unilateral; bilateral; oestrogen receptor; progesterone receptor

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21164/pomjlifesci.397

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