Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a rare condition that affects how the adrenal glands produce hormones. Through our Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Clinic, we offer advanced treatment to children with this condition. At any given time, there are over 200 children, adolescents and young adults in our CAH Clinic, making us one of the largest clinics in the country.
Our specialists have achieved recognition for their expertise. U.S. News & World Report ranks us as one of the leading pediatric endocrinology programs in the country.The same report lists CHLA among the top 10 children’s hospitals in the nation and No. 1 in California.
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Clinic: Why Choose Us?
Families who choose the CAH Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles benefit from:
- Coordinated, multidisciplinary care: Children who come to our clinic meet with every specialist they need in one location. This team model makes comprehensive, specialized care more convenient and accessible.
- Extensive support: We run support groups and offer opportunities for you to connect with families who have children with similar diagnoses. Caregivers may participate in the Infant-Toddler Support Group or attend special events designed to support families with children who are transitioning to school. We also run yearly camps to help adolescents learn to advocate for themselves and manage CAH when they are away from home.
- Specialized experts: Our team includes experts with specialized training. Our psychologist was one of the first in the country specifically trained to work with children who have CAH. Our team of specialists leads a 10-center international study to research the most effective CAH treatments.
- Robust education: When babies receive a CAH diagnosis, we provide extensive CAH education for caregivers. Our specialists help you understand what the diagnosis means, how to manage the condition and how to spot signs of a medical emergency. We also work with experts in the Fetal and Neonatal Institute to identify and care for babies who have a positive CAH newborn screening.
- Smooth care transitions: We actively work on identifying adult providers who have a special interest in CAH. We facilitate a smooth handoff to ensure that children continue to receive the care they need when they become adults.
- Clinical trials: Children’s Hospital specialists are leaders in CAH and endocrinology research to find the most effective treatments. Children and adolescents have access to leading-edge therapeutics through our trials.
What Is Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia?
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a rare condition that affects the adrenal glands. The adrenal gland produces four types of hormones:
- Cortisol helps your body respond to injuries or illness.
- Mineralocorticoids maintain sodium (salt) and water levels.
- Androgens are male sex hormones.
- Adrenaline helps your body respond to stress.
Children with CAH have a deficiency in one of the enzymes or proteins that creates some of these hormones. In response, their bodies produce high levels of androgen hormones. Depending on the type of CAH, children may have:
- Excess facial hair
- Excess pubic hair
- Low blood sugar, especially in young children
- Low sodium levels
- Moderate to severe acne
- Problems with puberty, such as irregular or absent menstrual periods
- Rapid height growth
Conditions We Treat
Our specialists offer expert care for all types of adrenal gland disorders, including:
- Addison’s disease
- Adrenal hypoplasia congenita
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- Cushing’s syndrome
Comprehensive Care Center Designation
Children’s Hospital is a referral center for the Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Research Education and Support (CARES) Foundation. Our clinic receives referrals from across the country.
The CARES Foundation has designated us as a comprehensive care center. Being a comprehensive care center means we:
- Are experts in CAH
- Provide excellent care from childhood through adulthood as a team of multidisciplinary providers and clinical staff
- Conduct research that will improve the lives of children with CAH
- Educate families, children and other health care providers on CAH management
- Provide support group events for families living with CAH
Expert CAH Care
Our comprehensive treatment team includes the expertise of:
We may also refer your child to additional experts, if needed, such as geneticists, dermatologists, bone metabolism specialists, maternal-fetal medicine specialists or urologists. Treatment plans might include medication, weight management or psychological support. Learn more about congenital adrenal hyperplasia treatment.