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Free access

L Kornreich, G Horev, M Schwarz, B Karmazyn, and Z Laron

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether lifelong secretion of high levels of GH, characteristic of Laron syndrome, leads to an increase in the size of the pituitary gland. METHODS: Eleven patients (six females, five males) with Laron syndrome underwent magnetic resonance imaging of the pituitary region with a system operating at 0.5 T. There were nine adults aged 36-68 Years and two children, a 4-Year-old boy and a 9-Year-old girl. The latter patient had been treated with IGF-I (150-180 mg/kg per day) since the age of 3 Years; all the other patients were untreated. The height of the adenohypophysis was measured on the sagittal images and compared with reference values for age and sex. RESULTS: The height of the adenohypophysis was within the normal range for age and gender in all patients, except for one male, who had a small gland. No congenital anomalies of the pituitary-hypothalamic region were detected. CONCLUSION: Despite the lifelong high levels of GH, no pituitary hypertrophy was detected. The anatomy of the pituitary-hypothalamic region in Laron syndrome is normal.

Open access

Huseyin Demirbilek, Ved Bhushan Arya, Mehmet Nuri Ozbek, Jayne A L Houghton, Riza Taner Baran, Melek Akar, Selahattin Tekes, Heybet Tuzun, Deborah J Mackay, Sarah E Flanagan, Andrew T Hattersley, Sian Ellard, and Khalid Hussain


Neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM) is a rare form of monogenic diabetes and usually presents in the first 6 months of life. We aimed to describe the clinical characteristics and molecular genetics of a large Turkish cohort of NDM patients from a single centre and estimate an annual incidence rate of NDM in South-Eastern Anatolian region of Turkey.

Design and methods

NDM patients presenting to Diyarbakir Children State Hospital between 2010 and 2013, and patients under follow-up with presumed type 1 diabetes mellitus, with onset before 6 months of age were recruited. Molecular genetic analysis was performed.


Twenty-two patients (59% males) were diagnosed with NDM (TNDM-5; PNDM-17). Molecular genetic analysis identified a mutation in 20 (95%) patients who had undergone a mutation analysis. In transient neonatal diabetes (TNDM) patients, the genetic cause included chromosome 6q24 abnormalities (n=3), ABCC8 (n=1) and homozygous INS (n=1). In permanent neonatal diabetes (PNDM) patients, homozygous GCK (n=6), EIF2AK3 (n=3), PTF1A (n=3), and INS (n=1) and heterozygous KCNJ11 (n=2) mutations were identified. Pancreatic exocrine dysfunction was observed in patients with mutations in the distal PTF1A enhancer. Both patients with a KCNJ11 mutation responded to oral sulphonylurea. A variable phenotype was associated with the homozygous c.-331C>A INS mutation, which was identified in both a PNDM and TNDM patient. The annual incidence of PNDM in South-East Anatolian region of Turkey was one in 48 000 live births.


Homozygous mutations in GCK, EIF2AK3 and the distal enhancer region of PTF1A were the commonest causes of NDM in our cohort. The high rate of detection of a mutation likely reflects the contribution of new genetic techniques (targeted next-generation sequencing) and increased consanguinity within our cohort.

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Naphtali Brand, Ruwen A. Kathein, and Gideon Hasis


A parallelism in the incidence of human and bovine goitre in the northern part of Israel is described.

Among 1475 children and adolescents from 8–18 years of age of both sexes and examined from Upper Galilee an average incidence of goitre of more than 10% was found.

A three years follow up study showed an increase in percentage of goitre to 30% among girls. No cretins or deaf or dumb subjects were found.

Thyroid weights of 385 heads of cattle slaughtered at the slaughter-houses or on the farms were determined. While the mean weight of thyroids of cattle from a non-endemic control area was 17.7 g the mean weight for the goitrous area attained 23.4 g. The mean relative thyroid weights for the control and goitrous areas were 3.75 and 6.98 g/100 kg respectively. The histopathological examination of several excised non selected thyroids from Upper Galilee showed pathological findings: hyperplasia, fibrosis, nodular goitre.

These data are the first evidence of the incidence of endemic goitre of cattle in Israel and suggest most strongly that here the unfavourable environment plays a decisive role among the factors which influence the weight of bovine thyroids.

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L. A. Nilsson

Cytologic aspiration biopsy of the thyroid was used in 48 of 63 children being the material of juvenile atoxic goitre (aged 10–15 years) from the last 31/2 years in Gothenburg. Cytologic signs of lymphoid thyroiditis were found in 23 girls and 3 boys.

Clinical signs and symptoms in 35 children with auto-immune thyroiditis are reported. One third had no complaints apart from the goitre, 12 were more or less hypothyroid and the rest had chiefly mild and diffuse symptoms. Increased firmness of the goitre was found in 27 of 32 cases, the surface was nodular or bosselated in 15.

Thyroid function: PBI was low only in 3 cases with myxedema, was above the upper normal limit in several cases. The difference between the PBI- and the BEI-levels was disproportionately great in most cases examined. The thyroid uptake of I131 showed abnormal discharge of iodide in every fourth patient.

Thyroid antibodies:

Free access

A Vatanen, M Wilhelmsson, B Borgström, B Gustafsson, M Taskinen, U M Saarinen-Pihkala, J Winiarski, and K Jahnukainen


The aim of the study was to evaluate long-term ovarian function after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in childhood and adolescence.

Subjects and methods

Predictive factors for ovarian function were evaluated among 92 adult or pubertal female survivors transplanted at Huddinge and Helsinki University Hospital during 1978–2000, at a mean age of 9±4.3 years (range 1–19). At the time of the study a mean±s.d. of 13±5.5 years (range 6–27) had elapsed since the HSCT and the mean age of the participants was 22±6.3 years (range 9–41).


Spontaneous puberty based on breast development occurred in 40 and menarche in 30 of the 70 girls who were prepubertal at transplantation. Six out of 20 girls who received HSCT after initiation of pubertal development recovered their ovarian function. Younger age at HSCT, conditioning without total body irradiation (TBI), and a non-leukemia diagnosis predicted the spontaneous menarche. The incidence of menarche was higher after fractioned vs single fraction TBI (P<0.05), cyclophosphamide (Cy) vs busulfan (Bu)-based conditioning (P<0.05), and among leukemia patients transplanted at first remission vs later remissions (P<0.01) and with no cranial irradiation (cranial radiotherapy, CRT) vs given CRT (14–24 Gy) (P<0.01). The majority of recipients conditioned with only Cy vs TBI (P<0.001) or vs Bu-based regimens (P<0.01) showed preserved ovarian function and required no estrogen replacement at their latest follow-up visit at a mean age of 23±6.3 years (range 15–41). Ten women became pregnant.


Patients conditioned with TBI or Bu-based regimes are at high risk of ovarian failure. Intensive anti-leukemia therapy before HSCT including CRT especially among relapsed patients may further decrease the possibility of spontaneous menarche.

Free access

Y Rakover, A Silbergeld, I Lavi, R Masalha, and IB Shlomo

OBJECTIVES: In the majority of children with short stature, the etiology is unknown. Mutations of the GH receptor (GHR) have been reported in a few children with apparent idiopathic short stature (ISS). These patients had low IGF-I, IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) and GH-binding protein (GHBP), but a normal or exaggerated GH response to provocative stimuli, suggestive of partial GH insensitivity (GHI). We attempted to identify children with partial GHI syndrome, based on their response to GH provocative stimuli and other parameters of the GH-IGF-I axis. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: One hundred and sixty-four pre-pubertal children (97 boys, 67 girls) aged 7.2 (0.5-16.75) years were studied. All had short stature with height <3rd centile. The weight, bone age (BA) and body mass index (BMI) of the subjects, as well as the parents' heights and mid parental height (MPH) were assessed. Basal blood samples were taken for IGF-I, IGFBP-3 and GHBP. All subjects underwent a GH provocative test with either clonidine, arginine or insulin. The subjects were divided into three groups: (A) patients with peak GH concentration <18 mIU/l in two different provocative tests (GH deficiency - GHD, n=33); (B) patients with peak GH between 18.2 and 39.8 mIU/l (normal response, n=78); (C) patients with peak GH >40 mIU/l (exaggerated GH response, n=53). RESULTS: No significant differences were found in age, height (standard deviation score (SDS)), parental height (SDS) and the difference between chronological age and bone age (DeltaBA) between the groups. Patients with GHD were heavier (P=0.039) and had significantly higher BMI (SDS) (P=0.001) than the other groups. MPH (SDS) was lower in the group of exaggerated responders (P=0.04) compared with the other groups. No significant differences were found between the groups for the biochemical parameters when expressed nominally or in SDS, except for IGFBP-3 (SDS), which was lower in the GHD group (P=0.005). The GHBP levels were not lower in the group of exaggerated GH response to provocative stimuli. Height (SDS) correlated negatively with basal GH values in pooled data of all the subjects (r=-0.358, P<0.0001), in normal responders (r=-0.45, P<0.0001) and in the exaggerated responders (r=-0.341, P<0.0001), but not in the GHD group. CONCLUSION: Exaggerated GH response to provocative tests alone does not appear to be useful in identifying children with GHI.

Restricted access

Naomi Weintrob, Zvi Dickerman, Elliot Sprecher, Avinoam Galatzer, and Atalia Pertzelan


Objective: To review the characteristics of children with non-classical 21-hydroxylase deficiency (NC-21-OHD) diagnosed during infancy and childhood, and to evaluate the relationship of pubertal and bone age maturation at initiation of glucocorticoid therapy with the course of puberty and final height.

Design: We retrospectively compared the course of puberty, growth pattern and final height in two groups of patients: group A (two males, six females), hydrocortisone (HC) treatment 7·5–15 mg/m2 per 24 h, initiated ≥1 year before onset of true puberty and group B (seven females), treatment started with the first signs of true puberty present.

Participants: Thirteen girls and two boys with NC-21-OHD diagnosed at age range 0·5–10·6 years were followed-up for 9·0 ± 3·8 years (mean±s.d.). Therapy with HC was initiated because of signs of hyperandrogenism, accelerated growth and bone maturation, or true precocious puberty. The HC dose was adjusted according to linear growth and basal plasma androgen levels.

Results: Puberty and peak height velocity developed significantly earlier in the girls of group B: gonadarche at 7·9 ± 1·4 years and peak height velocity at 9·2 ± 1·4 years vs 10·2 ± 0·4 years (P = 0·002) and 11·5 ± 0·7 years (P = 0·006) in group A. Menarche, however, occurred only slightly earlier in group B (12·0 ± 1·1 vs 12·8 ±0·5 years, P = 0·068). All eight children in group A achieved a final height within the range of their mean parental height standard deviation scores (SDS) in comparison with only 1/7 in group B (P = 0·0014). Seven of eight patients who started therapy before a bone age of 9 years achieved a final height within the parental height SDS range, compared with 2/7 who started therapy later (P = 0·041). The final height SDS was significantly better for group A (0·05 ± 0·19, mean ± s.e.m.) than group B (−1·63 ± 0·23, P = 0·0007), even when adjusted for a significant effect of the mean parental height SDS (A, −0·63 ± 0·28; B, −0·89 ± 0·31, P = 0·0245, ANCOVA).

Conclusion: Every child with signs of excess androgen activity or early puberty should be studied for the possibility of NC-21-OHD. Screening programs for populations with a high frequency of the gene for NC-21-OHD would facilitate early diagnosis and treatment. Pubertal stage and bone age at the introduction of therapy dictate height prognosis. Initiation of therapy before puberty with careful follow-up and HC dose adjustment can assure the achievement of genetic adult height.

European Journal of Endocrinology 136 188–195

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D. Gupta and W. A. Marshall


A longitudinal study was made of the daily urinary excretion, on or near each birthday, of a number of C19 and C21 steroids in 9 healthy girls and 5 healthy boys aged 3 to 7 years. The amount of androsterone excreted by each individual increased slowly during the period of study but the absolute amounts varied greatly between individuals. The excretion of aetiocholanolone was greater than that of androsterone, contrary to reported findings in older children. Small amounts of DHA were found. Testosterone was found in only about 40% of samples; epitestosterone in 70 % and 11β-OH-androsterone in only 62 %. Cortisol metabolites were excreted in amounts which increased with age and all three metabolites of corticosterone were present in most specimens. 11-Deoxycortisol was found in about 50 % of the samples and THS in 63 %. The mean trend in the ratio of glucuronides to sulphates of the 11-deoxy-17-oxosteroids decreased with increasing age, but the 11-deoxy-11-oxy ratio of 17-oxosteroids increased as did the 5α/5β ratio of the C19 and C21 steroids.

No sex differences were observed. The excretion of cortisol metabolites showed a positive correlation with height and weight. 11-Deoxy-17-oxosteroids were positively correlated with the weight. No significant relationships between steroid excretion and skeletal maturity were found.

Restricted access

Peter Christiansen


The influence of ovine follicle stimulating hormone (NIH-FSH-S-3) on ovine luteinizing hormone (NIH-LH-S-8) in the Ventral Prostate Weight method (VPW) was studied. Adding of NIH-FSH-S-3 to NIH-LH-S-8 at ratios of 1:1, 4:1 and 10:1 gave no significantly higher responses than did NIH-LH-S-8 alone.

Urinary extracts from 2 women, hypophysectomized for metastasizing mammary carcinoma and from 3 children between 2 and 5 years old (1 boy, 2 girls) gave no positive response with the doses employed (1/4 of a 24 hours urine sample total per rat). It is concluded that the Ventral Prostate Weight method in hypophysectomized rats is specific for the assay of luteinizing hormone.

Free access

J J Haro-Mora, E García-Escobar, N Porras, D Alcázar, J Gaztambide, A Ruíz-Órpez, S García-Serrano, E Rubio-Martín, E García-Fuentes, J P López-Siguero, F Soriguer, and G Rojo-Martínez


Changes in eating habits may be influential in the ever-increasing rate of childhood obesity. Our aim was to determine whether those children who consume olive oil have a lower risk of weight gain compared with children who consume other oils.

Design and methods

The study included 18 girls and 74 boys, all aged 13–166 months. A survey was completed for each subject about eating habits and physical activity. A sample of subcutaneous adipose tissue was also obtained for cellular study. Data were recorded on the mean size of the adipocytes, the number of preadipocytes, and the concentration of particular fatty acids. The weight and height of the children were measured 13 months later.


The likelihood that after 1 year the children would have increased their body mass index (BMI) Z-score above the initial score was less in the children who consumed only olive oil (odds ratio (OR)=0.22; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.08–0.63; P=0.005). These results remained after adjusting for age, physical activity and BMI (OR=0.19; 95% CI: 0.06–0.61; P=0.005) and after adjusting for age, physical activity and adipocyte volume (OR=0.15; 95% CI: 0.04–0.52; P=0.003).


Diets with mono unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA)-rich olive oil could reduce the risk of obesity in childhood.