Leydig Cell Tumour

Most Leydig cell tumour growth occurs in men as the Leydig cells are found in the testes and produce testosterone. A small number of Leydig cells are present in the ovaries, so uncommonly these tumours may also occur in women.

If they occur in children, the affected child presents with an early puberty. In men the symptoms are worsening acne, hair loss on the scalp and increased muscle bulk. In women these symptoms also occur, with the addition of clitoris enlargement, cessation of menstruation and facial hair growth.

The diagnosis is confirmed by an ultrasound or CT scan of the ovaries or testes followed by a biopsy of the tumour. High levels of testosterone are sometimes found in blood samples.

The treatment is surgical removal of the affected ovary or testicle and if the tumour is malignant, chemotherapy is also needed.

Leydig cell tumor

Microscopic images of Leydig cells and Leydig cell tumor by Nephron (CC BY 3.0)

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(Last modified: 5th Nov 2014)

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