I have heard the children with Turners syndrome have subnormal
intelligence. Is it true?
A.6 Children with Turners syndrome are not mentally retarded.
They may have problems of visualization and defining objects in
relation to each other. Thus, they may have a poor performance
in maths, geometry and have a poor sense of direction. Psychological
testing done early can help these children so that teachers can
pay special attention to the child to compensate for any problem
that may exist.
Are there any medical problems associated with Turners syndrome?
Girls with Turners syndrome may have frequent ear infections during
childhood. If not treated properly, it may lead to hearing loss.
Also, kidney (horseshoe kidneys), heart defects, thyroid &
skeletal problems are more common in Turners syndrome than in
the rest of the population.
FEW CHILDREN WITH TURNERS SYNDROME MAY HAVE ALL THE FEATURES,
SOME MAY HAVE ONLY UNDEVELOPED OVARIES & SHORT STATURE.
How is a child with Turner syndrome diagnosed?
A.8 Girls with characteristic features of Turners syndrome
can be diagnosed during infancy or early childhood. Girls without
obvious features may come to attention due to lack of puberty
development or short stature.
Though, the doctors may suspect the diagnosis clinically,
a blood test called karyotyping may be required to
confirm the diagnosis. Karyotyping determines the number of chromosomes
in the patients white blood cells. The diagnosis is confirmed
if only one X chromosome is present or if XX chromosomes are present,
but one is misshapen.
Supportive evidence can be seen on ultrasonography
of the abdomen which may show presence of streak ovaries (undeveloped
How is a child with Turners syndrome treated?
Once a child is diagnosis as Turners syndrome, a pediatric endocrinologist
may have to be consulted for hormonal and growth problems.
girl with Turners syndrome must be screened for associated medical
problems to detect heart defects, renal problems, skeletal problems
and thyroid hormones deficiency .Hearing should be tested clinically
regularly to detect hearing loss.
female hormone levels may be done and when the child approaches
10 years of age, the doctor may treat her with low dose androgens
(male-type hormones) or estrogens (female- type hormones) to increase
the growth velocity (which may almost double on treatment). Treatment
with growth hormones may help though it is still in the preliminary
the girl reaches 13 to 14 years of age, female hormones (estrogen
alone at first, then combined with progesterone) may be started
to bring about pubertal development (breasts may develop &
menstruation will start). Most women with Turners syndrome may
need to take these female hormone pills for the entire life, though
they may be stopped when the women reaches the age when most women
are entering menopause. Children with Y chromosome
may have to be operated to remove their gonads to prevent cancer
from occurring in the gonads.
What is the life span of a child with Turners syndrome?
If the girls with Turners syndrome obtain good medical and psychological
care, the quality of life for them is excellent. The life span
of girls with Turners syndrome is on par with the average population.
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updated on 26-12-2000