Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Program
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is an inherited disorder of the adrenal glands that can affect both boys and girls. People with CAH cannot properly make some essential hormones, such as cortisol and the salt-retaining hormone named aldosterone. Instead, they produce too much of other hormones, such as male-type hormones called androgens. These hormone imbalances can lead to serious illness, early puberty, growth concerns and other problems.
The CAH Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) brings together a team of experts from various specialties, such as Endocrinology, Psychology, Genetics and Urology, to address all the needs of a person with CAH, from infancy to young adult life, and provide support for both the individual and the families. The program is recognized as a Comprehensive Center of Excellence by CARES Foundation.
The CAH Program is part of CHOP’s Adrenal and Puberty Center, which has expertise in treating children with adrenal disorders and an array of conditions that may affect puberty and gonadal function. The Adrenal and Puberty Center is under the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes.
Who we treat
At the CAH Clinic, we treat children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), both classical and nonclassical types.
- We work with patients and families from infancy through early adulthood.
- In certain occasions, a family is referred to the program because the baby’s newborn screening indicated they have CAH. At CHOP, we confirm the diagnosis and start the infant on an appropriate treatment path.
- We also provide consultations to parents who are expecting a baby with CAH (diagnosis made before the baby’s delivery) to discuss what to expect when having a child with CAH and how coordinate care around the birth.
Because CAH can impact areas of the body beyond the adrenal gland, the multidisciplinary team at the CAH Program includes clinicians and counselors from Endocrinology, Psychology, Genetics, Urology, Social Work and Reproductive Medicine. We also collaborate with adult endocrinologists and adolescent gynecologists from Penn Medicine.