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Brigitte Odenwald, Uta Nennstiel-Ratzel, Helmuth-Günther Dörr, Heinrich Schmidt, Manfred Wildner, and Walter Bonfig

Objective

To evaluate adrenal crises after the start of treatment up to the age of 6 years in children with classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH).

Design

Analysis of data extracted from a population-based prospective long-term follow-up study of children detected in neonatal screening.

Methods

Data of 102 Bavarian children with classic CAH due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency were analyzed, using parental questionnaires and medical reports. Parent-reported hospital admissions of children diagnosed with acute health impairment were included in the analysis if salt loss (hyponatremia) or hypoglycemia was documented in the discharge summary.

Results

A total of 74 children (72.5%) had no report of hospital admissions with salt loss or hypoglycemia during the observational period. However, in 27.5% of the children, 22 salt-wasting crises (seven of these also with low blood glucose) and 16 hypoglycemic episodes without salt loss were reported. Furthermore, the cumulative incidence for seizures was elevated; 13 children experienced seizures during hyponatremia or hypoglycemia. Most adrenal crises were triggered by infections, often with inappropriate emergency management, but in 11 cases hypoglycemia occurred unexpectedly, without evidence of severe illness and without any management errors. Frequency of adrenal crises was 6.5 per 100 patient years (95% CI: 4.6–8.8).

Conclusions

Crisis prevention remains a permanent challenge for families and physicians caring for children with classic CAH. Expert care and compliance with emergency recommendations are crucial. Further research on the interactions among glucocorticoid deficiency, adrenomedullary dysfunction, and glucose metabolism is necessary for the prevention of hypoglycemia, especially in young CAH patients.

Free access

Werner F Blum, Cheri Deal, Alan G Zimmermann, Elena P Shavrikova, Christopher J Child, Charmian A Quigley, Stenvert L S Drop, Gordon B Cutler Jr, and Ron G Rosenfeld

Objective

We assessed the characteristics of children initially diagnosed with idiopathic isolated GH deficiency (IGHD) who later developed additional (multiple) pituitary hormone deficiencies (MPHD).

Design

Data were analyzed for 5805 pediatric patients with idiopathic IGHD, who were GH-naïve at baseline and GH-treated in the multinational, observational Genetics and Neuroendocrinology of Short Stature International Study.

Methods

Development of MPHD was assessed from investigator diagnoses, adverse events, and concomitant medications. Analyses were performed for all patients and for those who developed MPHD within 4.5 years or had ≥3.5 years, follow-up and continued to have IGHD (4-year cohort).

Results

MPHD developed in 118/5805 (2.0%) children overall, and in 96/1757 (5.5%) in the 4-year cohort. Patients who developed MPHD had more profound GHD, with decreased height SDS, IGF1 SDS and peak stimulated GH, and greater height decrement vs target, compared with children who continued to have IGHD (P<0.001 for each variable). Delivery complications, congenital anomalies, and perinatal/neonatal adverse events occurred more frequently in patients who developed MPHD. The most frequent additional deficiency was TSH (82 patients overall); four patients developed two pituitary hormone deficiencies and one developed three deficiencies. Multivariable logistic regression indicated that years of follow-up (odds ratio 1.55), baseline age (1.17), baseline height SDS (0.69), and peak stimulated GH (0.64) were associated with the development of MPHD.

Conclusions

MPHD is more likely to develop in patients with more severe idiopathic IGHD. Older baseline age, lower baseline height SDS, and longer follow-up duration are associated with increased risk of development of MPHD.

Free access

Eduardo Cuestas, María Isabel Gaido, and Raúl Horacio Capra

Objective

Transient neonatal hyperthyrotropinemia (TNH) is defined as a neonatal abnormality of thyroid function, which reverts to normal at re-examination after 2 weeks of life. The thyroid function of these infants has not been sufficiently studied in terms of the risk of developing persistent hyperthyrotropinemia (PH) in later childhood and its impact on growth and development.

Design

A prospective cohort study included all babies born in our hospital between 2001 and 2006 and screened for hypothyroidism, whose thyroid function was re-examined 6 years later. Exclusion criteria included the following conditions: preterm birth, birth weight <2500 g, Down's syndrome, descendants of mothers with immune thyroid disease, congenital malformations, cardiac, renal, hepatic, and metabolic diseases, and steroid or dopamine medication. The variables included are TSH and thyroxine at neonatal screening and 6 years later. Main outcomes are the risk of developing PH in childhood, linear growth, and development using Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS).

Results

Out of 5040 normal-term newborns, 301 (6.0%, 95% CI 5.3–6.6%) have TSH ≥10 mU/l (TNH). Six years later, we re-examined 65 randomly selected children with TNH and 185 controls. In the TNH cohort, we found six out of 65 children (9.2%, 95% CI 1.4–17.0%) with PH (TSH ≥6.4 mU/l), and three out of 185 (1.6%, 95% CI 0.3–4.7%) among controls, relative risk 5.7 (95% CI 1.5–22.1), P=0.0114. TSH and developmental delay were found to be significantly higher in the TNH cohort (4.7±1.3 mU/l vs 2.1±0.5 mU/l, P<0.0001 and 15/65 (23%, 95% CI 12–34.1) vs 21/185 (11.3%, 95% CI 6.5–16.2) P=0.0348).

Conclusions

Newborns with TNH have a higher risk of developing PH in childhood, with repercussion on developmental status.

Free access

Claus H Gravholt, Niels H Andersen, Gerard S Conway, Olaf M Dekkers, Mitchell E Geffner, Karen O Klein, Angela E Lin, Nelly Mauras, Charmian A Quigley, Karen Rubin, David E Sandberg, Theo C J Sas, Michael Silberbach, Viveca Söderström-Anttila, Kirstine Stochholm, Janielle A van Alfen-van derVelden, Joachim Woelfle, Philippe F Backeljauw, and On behalf of the International Turner Syndrome Consensus Group

Turner syndrome affects 25–50 per 100,000 females and can involve multiple organs through all stages of life, necessitating multidisciplinary approach to care. Previous guidelines have highlighted this, but numerous important advances have been noted recently. These advances cover all specialty fields involved in the care of girls and women with TS. This paper is based on an international effort that started with exploratory meetings in 2014 in both Europe and the USA, and culminated with a Consensus Meeting held in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA in July 2016. Prior to this meeting, five groups each addressed important areas in TS care: 1) diagnostic and genetic issues, 2) growth and development during childhood and adolescence, 3) congenital and acquired cardiovascular disease, 4) transition and adult care, and 5) other comorbidities and neurocognitive issues. These groups produced proposals for the present guidelines. Additionally, four pertinent questions were submitted for formal GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) evaluation with a separate systematic review of the literature. These four questions related to the efficacy and most optimal treatment of short stature, infertility, hypertension, and hormonal replacement therapy. The guidelines project was initiated by the European Society of Endocrinology and the Pediatric Endocrine Society, in collaboration with the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology, the Endocrine Society, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, the American Heart Association, the Society for Endocrinology, and the European Society of Cardiology. The guideline has been formally endorsed by the European Society of Endocrinology, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology and the Endocrine Society. Advocacy groups appointed representatives who participated in pre-meeting discussions and in the consensus meeting.

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CL Boguszewski, C Jansson, MC Boguszewski, S Rosberg, KA Wikland, B Carlsson, and LM Carlsson

The proportion of non-22 kDa GH isoforms was evaluated in 93 healthy children (48 boys aged 6.8-18.4 years and 45 girls aged 3.9-18.4 years) of normal stature (height +/- 2 s.d. score) at different stages of puberty. In addition, correlations among the proportion of non-22 kDa GH isoforms, auxology, spontaneous GH secretion and biochemical measurements were investigated. Serum non-22 kDa GH levels, expressed as percentage of total GH concentration in the samples, were determined by the 22 kDa GH exclusion assay, in which monomeric and dimeric 22 kDa GH are removed from serum and the non-22 kDa GH isoforms are quantitated using a polyclonal antibody GH assay. Samples were selected from spontaneous GH peaks in 24-h GH profiles. For boys, the median proportion of non-22 kDa GH isoforms was 8.5% (range 3.2-26.6%) and for girls it was 9.6% (1.8-17.4%), with no influence of age and no sex-related difference in prepubertal (boys, 7.2%; girls, 8.8%) or pubertal children (boys, 9.1%; girls, 9.9%). However, the median proportion of non-22 kDa GH isoforms was significantly higher in pubertal boys (9.1%) than in prepubertal boys (7.2%; P = 0.03). In pubertal boys, height S.D. scores (SDS) were inversely correlated to the proportion of non-22 kDa GH isoforms (r = -0.38; P = 0.02), especially at mid-puberty (r = -0.7; P = 0.01), indicating that the presence of increased amounts of circulating non-22 kDa GH isoforms was associated with less growth. In prepubertal children, positive correlations between non-22 kDa GH and weight SDS (r = 0.46; P = 0.03), weight-for-height SDS (r = 0.51; P = 0.01) and body mass index (r = 0.42; P = 0.04) were observed. No significant correlations were seen with spontaneous GH secretion or measurements of IGF-1, IGF-binding protein-3, insulin and leptin. These findings in normal children indicate that the proportion of circulating non-22 kDa GH isoforms may have physiologic significance for growth and metabolism in different stages of development, and emphasize the importance of evaluating the circulating ratio of 22 kDa and non-22 kDa GH in children with growth disorders.

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M Boguszewski, J Dahlgren, R Bjarnason, S Rosberg, LM Carlsson, B Carlsson, and K Albertsson-Wikland

The product of the obese (ob) gene, leptin, is an adipocyte-derived hormone that is involved in the regulation of appetite and body weight. This study was undertaken in order to describe the basal serum levels of leptin in prepubertal short children born small for gestational age (SGA) and their relationship with growth parameters, before and during growth hormone (GH) treatment. Eighty-nine prepubertal short children (66 boys, 23 girls; height standard deviation score (SDS), -5.4 to -2.0; age, 2.0 to 12.8 years) born SGA, 12 of whom (9 boys, 3 girls) had signs of Silver-Russell syndrome, were included in the study. Serum leptin concentrations were measured by radioimmunoassay. Leptin levels in the children born SGA were compared with those in a reference group of 109 prepubertal healthy children born at an appropriate size for gestational age (AGA). The mean (S.D.) change in height SDS was 0.11 (0.22) during the year before the start of GH therapy (0.1 IU/kg/day) and increased to 0.82 (0.44) during the first year (P < 0.001) and to 1.28 (0.59) during the 2-year period of GH therapy (P < 0.001). The children born SGA were significantly leaner than the reference group. An inverse correlation was found between leptin and chronological age in the SGA group (r = -0.31, P < 0.01). The mean serum level of leptin in the children born SGA who were older than 5.5 years of age was 2.8 micrograms/l which was significantly lower than the mean value of 3.7 micrograms/l found in the children born AGA of the same age range. The difference remained after adjustment of leptin levels for sex, age, body mass index (BMI) and weight-for-height SDS (WHSDSSDS). Leptin correlated with WHSDSSDS (r = 0.32, P < 0.001) and BMI (r = 0.36, P < 0.01) in the reference population, but not in the SGA group. No correlation was found between leptin and spontaneous 24-h GH secretion, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I or IGF-binding protein-3 levels, or with fasting insulin or cortisol levels. Leptin levels at the start of GH treatment were correlated with the growth response over both 1 year (r = 0.46, P < 0.001) and 2 years (r = 0.51, P < 0.001) of GH therapy. Using multiple regression analysis, models including leptin levels at the start of GH therapy could explain 51% of the variance in the growth response after 1 year and 44% after 2 years of GH treatment. In conclusion, serum leptin levels are reduced in short children born SGA and are inversely correlated with chronological age. Leptin concentrations correlate with the growth response to GH treatment and might be used as a marker for predicting the growth response to GH treatment.

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Pierre Ferrier and Thérèse Lemarchand-Beraud

Very little is known yet about thyroid hormone transport capacity of the serum and thyroid hormone protein binding in children. Except for the studies by Haddad (1) and by Dreyer and Man (2), all observations so far published are concerned with hormone transport mechanisms in the adult. In order to establish reference values, thyroid function tests were performed in 35 eumetabolic children (20 boys and 15 girls) aged from 6 weeks to 11 years. In vitro erythrocyte uptake of T3 was measured according to the procedure of Hamolsky et al. (3). Protein binding of T4 was studied at progressive degrees of saturation by paper electrophoresis in tris-maleate buffer at pH 8.6 according to Ingbar et al. (4). Values were compared with those from a group of 21 euthyroid adults, tested in the same laboratory. PBI was found to be higher in children than in adults. This tendency has been noted

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ANKE A. EHRHARDT and HEINO F.L. MEYER-BAHLBURG

ABSTRACT

Precocious puberty in girls has endocrinological as well as behavioral implications. We present data from a first systematic controlled follow-up study of 16 adolescent girls with a history of idiopathic precocious puberty (IPP) compared to closely pairmatched adolescent control subjects of comparable pubertal status and normal pubertal history. Findings in four areas of behavior are reported: (1) Psychiatric sequelae: the IPP sample showed an increase in minor psychopathological symptoms. (2) Psychosexual development: The IPP sample was advanced in sociosexual milestones, albeit mostly within the normal range for adolescents. (3) Intelligence: IQ was not different from controls. However, school achievement was accelerated during childhood. (4) Cognitive pattern: The IPP sample had lower spatial perception scores than controls.

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L. Kanaris, K. Ntalles, K. Alevizaki, P. Lapatsanis, Ch. Velentzas, P. Katsichtis, E. Georgiou, Ch. Drossos, and D.G. Ikkos

The aim of the present work was to obtain bone mass estimates of healthy Greek children aged 6–18 years. This work was considered worthwhile since similar data are very few in the world litterature (Bonnard 1968, Gryfe et al. 1971), while those for Greece (Livadas et al. 1975) refer to 902 children only (462 boys and 440 girls) aged 5–13 years.

The material of the present study consists of 2.406 schoolboys and 2.451 schoolgirls aged 6–18 years, of whom 864 boys and 1.189 girls were living in Attica, while the remaining 1.542 boys and 1.262 girls were living in communities outside Attica (i.e. Atalanti, Arnea, Elatia and Karpenisi). Standing body height and body weight was measured in all subjects. Furthermore, a plain x–ray of the left hand was taken in all children, using a focal distance of 80 cm.

By means of a micrometer apparatus (Taschenmessloupe TM4, C. Zeiss) the

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Z Laron, X L Wang, B Klinger, A Silbergeld, and D E L Wilcken

Abstract

Background: elevated serum lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) is a strong risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD). Genetic factors appear to account for the major variance in Lp(a) levels but the contribution hormones make in modulating Lp(a) levels is not yet clear. In the present investigation we determined the effects of human growth hormone (hGH) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) on circulating Lp(a).

Methods: four groups of patients were studied. Group a: adults with GH deficiency (n=7) treated with hGH (0·05 U/kg/day, s.c.); group b: girls with Turner syndrome (n=7) treated with hGH (0·1 U/kg/day, s.c.); group c: prepubertal boys with idiopathic short stature (n=6) treated with the GH secretagogue (GHRP) hexarelin (60 μg t.i.d. intranasally); group d: Laron syndrome patients (n=10) treated with IGF-I (100–200 μg/kg/day, s.c.). Following overnight fasting, serum was sampled before the initiation of treatment and during 6–9 months treatment.

Results: serum IGF-I rose significantly in all the subjects in all four groups. In the first three groups in which IGF-I was elevated by exogenous or endogenous GH stimulation, serum Lp(a) increased significantly (119±35%, P<0·01; 126±44%, P<0·05; 102±29% P<0·01 for groups a, b, and c respectively). By contrast, serum Lp(a) levels decreased in group d to whom exogenous IGF-I was administered (–66±5%, P<0·001). The differential effect of endogenous vs exogenous IGF-I on serum Lp(a) paralleled the behaviour of serum insulin. Insulin was significantly increased in all the subjects receiving hGH or GHRP (65·2±31%, P=0·109; 93·7±53%, P=0·062; 3536·8±52·7%, P<0·01 for groups a, b, and c respectively) whereas insulin levels were reduced following exogenous administration of IGF-I (—34·1±9·1%, P<0·01).

Conclusions: we conclude that long-term GH treatment increases and IGF-I decreases circulating levels of Lp(a). These findings may have clinical relevance in view of the increasing use of hGH in children and adults and the role of Lp(a) as a CAD risk factor.

European Journal of Endocrinology 136 377–381