Ninety three children (51 boys, 42 girls) who had been treated for brain tumours not affecting the hypothalamopituitary axis, were studied for evidence of gonadal dysfunction. All had received cranial irradiation, 59 spinal irradiation, and 28 adjuvant chemotherapy. Mean age at treatment was 6.3 years (range 1.5-15). Mean follow up after completion of radiotherapy was 8.5 years (range 1-27). Primary ovarian damage occurred in seven out of 11 (64%) girls treated with craniospinal irradiation alone and in nine out of 14 (64%) of those treated with craniospinal irradiation and chemotherapy. The association with spinal irradiation was significant. Primary gonadal damage also occurred in three out of four children treated with chemotherapy combined with cranial irradiation and in three out of nine boys treated with chemotherapy and craniospinal irradiation but in no boy given craniospinal irradiation alone. The only common chemotherapeutic agent was a nitrosourea. Hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism was found in seven boys, 5.8% of children of pubertal age.
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