The in utero effects of DES (Diethylstilbestrol) on the human male genital tract are reported in this follow-up study of male offspring of DES-treated mothers. Both anatomical and functional abnormalities were significantly greater in the DES-exposed males as compared to control males whose mothers were all participants in a prospective, randomized double blind study of the effects of DES on pregnancy at the Chicago Lying-in Hospital during the early 1950s. Epididymal cysts, hypotrophic testes and capsular induration of the testes were among the more common genital lesions found in 27% of 134 DES-exposed males as compared to a 7% incidence in 119 control males. Spermatozoa analyses revealed severely pathologic changes (Eliasson score greater than 10) in 29% of 28 DES-exposed males and 0% of 18 control males (with or without genital i.e., physical abnormalities). Abnormal findings on physical examination combined with sperm abnormalities (Eliasson score greater than or equal to 5) were found in 29% of DES-exposed males versus 0% of 18 control males. Cytologic examinations did not reveal malignant cells from the following materials: urines before and after prostatic massage or ejaculation, prostatic fluids and aspirates from epididymal cysts.
Sources: Structural and functional abnormalities in the sex organs of male offspring of mothers treated with diethylstilbestrol (DES), NCBI, 1976 Apr;16(4):147-53., PMID: 772199
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