18 males with beta-thalassaemia major were studied; mean age was 17.6 flAF 4.3, 8 of 18 males evaluated were prepubertal (Tanner 1), 5 were early and mid pubertal (Tanner 2-3) and 5 were full pubertal (Tanner 5). All patients (pts) underwent GnRH test and 61% showed positive response. 8 pts. were treated with hCG; 2 were azoospermic, 6 were aspermic. The starting dose was 1000 IU twice weekly; dose adjustments were made basing on testosterone levels and clinical features. Clinical examination, testosterone assays, semen analysis were performed every 3 months during the treatment period. Therapy was started 18-48 months ago and it is still in progress. Within 12 months of treatment 4 pts progressed to Tanner stage 4, 3 pts to Tanner stage 5, 1 showed no response. Semen analysis showed an improvement in 6 pts: after 12 months of therapy 1 pts was aspermic, 5 were azoospermic, 1 was oligozoospermic. Our data showed that hCG administration is effective in inducing and maintaining secondary sexual character.