16 February 2007
A male presented at age 2.2 years with a 6-week history of intermittent vomiting and hyperpigmentation. Investigations showed salt wasting with hyperkalaemia, a grossly impaired cortisol response to ACTH stimulation, elevated renin and ACTH. Family history revealed that two maternal uncles had died soon after birth. A third uncle failed to thrive during infancy but improved with a course of cortisone, then being untreated until further investigation revealed adrenal insufficiency. A fourth uncle died aged 10 days, with urinary salt loss and hypoplastic adrenal glands at postmortem. Molecular studies on the proband, his mother, maternal grandmother, and surviving uncle showed a novel C to G substitution at nucleotide position 794 (missense mutation T265R) in the DAX1 (NR0B1) gene. The proband has responded well to steroid replacement but has proved sensitive to 9α-fludrocortisone treatment, developing hypertension on a dose of 133 µg/m<sup>2</sup>/day. At 8.8 years he was noted to have testicular volumes of 4 ml, despite no other evidence of secondary sexual development and prepubertal gonadotrophin levels. Novel features of this family include a novel DAX1 mutation, marked variability in age of presentation, hypertension on ‘standard’ doses of 9α-fludrocortisone and mild testicular enlargement.