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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.

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P Dimitri, J T Warner, J A L Minton, A M Patch, S Ellard, A T Hattersley, S Barr, D Hawkes, J K Wales, and J W Gregory


Mutations in the GLI-similar 3 (GLIS3) gene encoding the transcription factor GLIS3 are a rare cause of neonatal diabetes and congenital hypothyroidism with six affected cases from three families reported to date. Additional features, described previously, include congenital glaucoma, hepatic fibrosis, polycystic kidneys, developmental delay and facial dysmorphism.


We report two new cases from unrelated families with distinct novel homozygous partial GLIS3 deletions. Both patients presented with neonatal diabetes mellitus, severe resistant hypothyroidism in the presence of elevated thyroglobulin and normal thyroid anatomy, degenerative liver disease, cystic renal dysplasia, recurrent infections and facial dysmorphism. These novel mutations have also resulted in osteopenia, bilateral sensorineural deafness and pancreatic exocrine insufficiency, features that have not previously been associated with GLIS3 mutations. Gene dosage analysis showed that the parents were carriers of a deletion encompassing exons 1–2 (case 1) or exons 1–4 (case 2) of the 11 exon gene. Genome-wide SNP analysis did not reveal a common ancestral GLIS3 haplotype in patient 2.


Our results confirm partial gene deletions as the most common type of GLIS3 mutations, accounting for four of five families identified to date. We propose that mutations in GLIS3 lead to a wider clinical phenotype than previously recognised. We also report the first case of a recessive GLIS3 mutation causing neonatal diabetes and congenital hypothyroidism in a child from a non-consanguineous pedigree, highlighting the importance of molecular genetic testing in any patient with this phenotype.

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M Salerno, R Militerni, S Di Maio, C Bravaccio, N Gasparini, and A Tenore

BACKGROUND: The intellectual outcome in children with congenital hypothyroidism detected by neonatal screening is generally good; however, subtle neurological dysfunctions, subnormal IQ, or both, have been reported. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the intellectual outcome in 12-year-old patients with congenital hypothyroidism, detected by neonatal screening, in an attempt to identify factors that may affect intellectual development. METHODS: The intelligence quotient (IQ) of 40 children with congenital hypothyroidism was evaluated at 12 years of age, using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children -- Revised, and compared with the IQ of 40 healthy siblings (control group). RESULTS: The mean IQ score (88.4+/-13.1) was not significantly different from that of the control group (93.4+/-10.7). Thirteen patients showed subnormal IQ score (72.4+/-4.9) compared with their siblings (86.7+/-9.6; P<0.0001) and with the other patients (96.1+/-9.6; P<0.0001). The low IQ score was associated with lower serum concentrations of thyroxine at diagnosis, poor treatment compliance during follow-up and lower familial IQ. Interviews with parents of children with congenital hypothyroidism revealed that a refusal to acknowledge the disease was linked to poor attention to the child's emotional life and to poor treatment compliance in some cases (11%). CONCLUSION: Even though the mean IQ score in patients with congenital hypothyroidism falls within normal for the control population, low IQ scores may be present in patients with severe hypothyroidism, inadequate compliance to replacement therapy during follow-up and poor parental pedagogic attitude.

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Margaret Cristina da Silva Boguszewski and Adriane de Andre Cardoso-Demartini

Approximately 15 million babies are born preterm across the world every year, with less than 37 completed weeks of gestation. Survival rates increased during the last decades with the improvement of neonatal care. With premature birth, babies are deprived of the intense intrauterine growth phase, and postnatal growth failure might occur. Some children born prematurely will remain short at later ages and adult life. The risk of short stature increases if the child is also born small for gestational age. In this review, the effects of being born preterm on childhood growth and adult height and the hormonal abnormalities possibly associated with growth restriction are discussed, followed by a review of current information on growth hormone treatment for those who remain with short stature during infancy and childhood.

Free access

CH Gravholt

Turner syndrome is one of the more common genetic disorders, associated with abnormalities of the X chromosome, and occurring in about 50 per 100 000 liveborn girls. Turner syndrome is usually associated with reduced adult height, gonadal dysgenesis and thus insufficient circulating levels of female sex steroids, and infertility. A number of other signs and symptoms are seen more frequently with the syndrome. Morbidity and mortality are increased. The average intellectual performance is within the normal range. A number of recent studies have provided new insights with respect to epidemiology, cardiology, endocrinology and metabolism. Treatment with GH during childhood and adolescence allows a considerable gain in adult height, although very-long-term consequences of this treatment are not clear. Puberty has to be induced in most cases, and female sex hormone replacement therapy is given during the adult years. The proper dose of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has not been established, and, likewise, benefits and/or drawbacks from HRT have not been thoroughly evaluated. Since the risk of cardiovascular and endocrinological disease is clearly elevated, proper care during adulthood is emphasized. In summary, Turner syndrome is a condition associated with a number of diseases and conditions which are reviewed in the present paper.

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Liora Lazar, Rivka Kauli, Celia Bruchis, Jardena Nordenberg, Avinoam Galatzer, and Athalia Pertzelan

Lazar L, Kauli R, Bruchis C, Nordenberg J, Galatzer A, Pertzelan A. Early polycystic ovary-like syndrome in girls with central precocious puberty and exaggerated adrenal response. Eur J Endocrinol 1995;133:403–6. ISSN 0804–4643

Exaggerated adrenal response (ExAR), i.e. hypersecretion of both 17-hydroxypregnenolone (170HPreg) and 17-hydroxyprogesterone(17OHP) in response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation, is frequently found in women with polycystic ovary (PCO) syndrome who had precocious adrenarche. In an earlier study we found an abnormal adrenal response in girls with idiopathic true central precocious puberty (CPP) at early stages of puberty. On follow-up it was noted that a significant number of girls with CPP develop PCO-like syndrome at a relatively young age. The aim of the present study was to determine if there is an association between ExAR and early PCO in girls with a history of CPP. Included were 49 girls with a history of CPP, 34 of whom were treated with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analog. All 49 were evaluated at full maturity, at ages 12.5–14 years, 0.5–4 years after menarche or resumption of menses. Of the 49 girls, 20 had at least 3/4 clinical signs of PCO (irregular menses, hirsutism, acne and obesity) and were defined as PCOlike+, whereas 29 did not fulfil the criteria and were considered PCO-like -. Girls with a definite enzyme deficiency were excluded from the study. All participants underwent a combined iv ACTHGnRH test at early follicular phase. The PCO-like + girls all revealed ExAR, i.e. an elevated stimulated 17OHPreg of 63.4 ± 9.6 nmol/l (normal 28.6 ± 9.2 nmol/l) and a normal stimulated 17OHPreg/ 17OHP ratio of 7.1 ± 1.8 (normal 6.2 ± 2.7), whereas all the PCO-like – had a normal adrenal response (30.0 ±8.7 and 5.3 ± 2.0 nmol/l, respectively). Compared to the PCO-like – girls, those with PCO-like± had significantly higher levels of testosterone (1.8 ± 0.7 vs 1.0 ± 0.5 nmol/l; p < 0.001), androstenedione (6.6 ±3.2 vs 4.7 ± 1.8 nmol/l; p < 0.02) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (7.8 ± 4.7 vs 4.2 ± 2.5 μmol/l; p < 0.004), and a trend toward inappropriate luteinizing hormone secretion. The prevalence of ExAR (40.8%) in the mature CPP girls (confined to only PCO-like ±) was similar to that previously found by us in another group of girls with CPP at early puberty (44.6%). In conclusion, our findings indicate that the pattern of adrenal response remains unchanged from early puberty to adulthood and is probably inherent. As only the girls with CPP who developed early PCO syndrome showed ExAR, it is suggested that ExAR in early puberty may serve as a predictive marker for the eventual development of PCO.

A Pertzelan, Institute of Pediatric and Adolescent Endocrinology, Children's Medical Center of Israel, Beilinson Medical Campus, Kaplan Street, Petah Tiqva 49202, Israel

Free access

D T Ward, M Z Mughal, M Ranieri, M M Dvorak-Ewell, G Valenti, and D Riccardi


Loss-of-function calcium-sensing receptor (CAR) mutations cause elevated parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion and hypercalcaemia. Although full Car deletion is possible in mice, most human CAR mutations result from a single amino acid substitution that maintains partial function. However, here, we report a case of neonatal severe hyperparathyroidism (NSHPT) in which the truncated CaR lacks any transmembrane domain (CaRR392X), in effect a full CAR ‘knockout’.

Case report

The infant (daughter of distant cousins) presented with hypercalcaemia (5.5–6 mmol/l corrected calcium (2.15–2.65)) and elevated PTH concentrations (650–950 pmol/l (12–81)) together with skeletal demineralisation. NSHPT was confirmed by CAR gene sequencing (homozygous c.1174C-to-T mutation) requiring total parathyroidectomy during which only two glands were located and removed, resulting in normalisation of her serum PTH/calcium levels.

Design and methods

The R392X stop codon was inserted into human CAR and the resulting mutant (CaRR392X) expressed transiently in HEK-293 cells.


CaRR392X expressed as a 54 kDa dimeric glycoprotein that was undetectable in conditioned medium or in the patient's urine. The membrane localisation observed for wild-type CaR in parathyroid gland and transfected HEK-293 cells was absent from the proband's parathyroid gland and from CaRR392X-transfected cells. Expression of the mutant was localised to endoplasmic reticulum consistent with its lack of functional activity.


Intriguingly, the patient remained normocalcaemic throughout childhood (2.5 mM corrected calcium, 11 pg/ml PTH (10–71), age 8 years) but exhibited mild asymptomatic hypocalcaemia at age 10 years, now treated with 1-hydroxycholecalciferol and Ca2 + supplementation. Despite representing a virtual CAR knockout, the patient displays no obvious pathologies beyond her calcium homeostatic dysfunction.

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Aristeidis Giannakopoulos, Alexandra Efthymiadou, and Dionisios Chrysis


The diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in children is not always straightforward because insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) or GH stimulation tests may not be able to discriminate GHD from constitutional delay of growth and puberty (CDGP) or other causes of short stature.


Boys and girls (n = 429, 0.7–16 years) who attended our department for short stature participated in this study. They were followed up for an average period of 9 years. At the end of follow-up after reaching the final height, a definitive diagnosis was assigned, and all the components of ternary complex (IGF-I, IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), acid-labile subunit (ALS), and IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio) were evaluated as biomarkers for the respective diagnosis.


All the components of the ternary complex were tightly correlated with each other and were positively related to age. IGF-I, IGFBP-3, ALS, and IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio differed significantly between GHD and normal groups. IGF-I and ALS levels were lower in GHD compared to children with familial short stature, while IGF-I and IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio was significantly lower in GHD compared to children with CDGP. IGF-I and IGF-I/IGFBP-3 receiver operating curve cutoff points were unable to discriminate between GHD and normal groups or between GHD and CDGP groups.


Despite the tight correlation among all the components of the ternary complex, each one shows a statistically significant diagnosis-dependent alteration. There is a superiority of IGF-I, ALS, and IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio in the distinction between GHD and CDGP or between GHD and normal groups but without usable discriminating power, making auxology as the primary criterion for establishing the diagnosis.

Free access

Annette Mouritsen, Lise Aksglaede, Kaspar Soerensen, Casper P Hagen, J H Petersen, Katharina M Main, and Anders Juul


Pubertal onset is usually defined by breast development in girls and testicular growth in boys. Pubarche is defined as the attainment of pubic hair and is considered as a sign of pubertal transition. Pubarche is preceded by a gradual increase in production of adrenal androgens, DHEA and Δ4-androstenedione (Adione), a process termed adrenarche.


To study the natural course of pubertal transition and the associations with adrenarche, body fat, and linear growth.

Design and methods

A longitudinal study of 179 healthy children (89 girls) with higher socioeconomic background examined every 6 months for 5 years. Pubic hair stage, breast stage, genital stage, testicular volume (TV), height, weight, and four skinfolds were measured.


In girls, median age (25th and 75th percentiles) at thelarche (B2+) was 10.1 years (9.3–10.9). In boys, median age at attaining a TV >3 ml was 11.5 years (10.9–12.0). Median age at pubarche (PH2+) was 10.9 years (10.3–11.4) in girls and 11.6 years (10.8–12.4) in boys. Only 6.8% (4/59) of the girls and 24.6% (15/61) of the boys developed pubic hair as the first isolated sign of puberty. Serum DHEAS and Adione increased with age, although the increase in Adione was most pronounced in girls. No associations between early age at thelarche/testicular growth and increased body fat (BMI and sum of four skinfolds) were observed.


Danish children rarely experience pubarche as the first sign of puberty. No associations between age at pubertal onset and body composition were found. Circulating levels of Adione, but not DHEAS, increased with the onset of puberty, although with large interindividual variability.

Free access

Robin Michelet, Johanna Melin, Zinnia P. Parra-Guillen, Uta Neumann, J Martin Whitaker, Viktoria Stachanow, Wilhelm Huisinga, John Porter, Oliver Blankenstein, Richard J. Ross, and Charlotte Kloft


Accurate hydrocortisone dosing in children with adrenal insufficiency is important to avoid the risks of over and under treatment including iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome and adrenal crisis.


To establish a population pharmacokinetic model of hydrocortisone in children and use this to refine hydrocortisone replacement regimens.

Design and methods:

Pharmacokinetic study of hydrocortisone granules, available in 0.5, 1, 2 and 5 mg dose strengths, in 24 children with adrenal insufficiency aged 2 weeks to 6 years. Cortisol concentrations quantified by LC-MS/MS were used to refine an adult pharmacokinetic model to a paediatric population model which was then used to simulate seven different hydrocortisone treatment regimens.


Pre-dose cortisol levels were undetectable in 54% of the 24 children. The developed pharmacokinetic model had good predictive performance. Simulations for the seven treatment regimens using either three- or four-times daily dosing showed treatment regimens delivered an AUC0- 24h within the 90% reference range for healthy children except in neonates where two regimens had an AUC below the 5th percentile. Cortisol concentrations at individual time points in the 24 h were outside the 90% reference range for healthy individuals in 50%, 55–65% and 70–75% for children, infants and neonates, respectively, with low cortisol levels being most prevalent.


Current paediatric hydrocortisone treatment regimens based on either three- or four-times daily administration replicate cortisol exposure based on AUC0- 24h, but the majority of cortisol levels are above or below physiological cortisol levels with low levels very common before the next dose.