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T Meissner, U Wendel, P Burgard, S Schaetzle, and E Mayatepek

BACKGROUND: The term congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) comprises a group of different genetic disorders with the common finding of recurrent episodes of hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical presentation, diagnostic criteria, treatment and long-term follow-up in a large cohort of CHI patients. PATIENTS: The data from 114 patients from different hospitals were obtained by a detailed questionnaire. Patients presented neonatally (65%), during infancy (28%) or during childhood (7%). RESULTS: In 20 of 74 (27%) patients with neonatal onset birth weight was greatly increased (group with standard deviation scores (SDS) >2.0) with a mean SDS of 3.2. Twenty-nine percent of neonatal-onset vs 69% of infancy/childhood-onset patients responded to diazoxide and diet or to a carbohydrate-enriched diet alone. Therefore, we observed a high rate of pancreatic surgery performed in the neonatal-onset group (70%) compared with the infancy/childhood-onset group (28%). Partial (3%), subtotal (37%) or near total (15%) pancreatectomy was performed. After pancreatic surgery there appeared a high risk of persistent hypoglycemia (40%). Immediately post-surgery or with a latency of several Years insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus was observed in operated patients (27%). General outcome was poor with a high degree of psychomotor or mental retardation (44%) or epilepsy (25%). An unfavorable outcome correlated with infancy-onset manifestation (chi(2)=6.1, P=0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The high degree of developmental delay, in particular in infancy-onset patients emphasizes the need for a change in treatment strategies to improve the unfavorable outcome. Evaluation of treatment alternatives should take the high risk of developing diabetes mellitus into account.

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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.

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.

Free access

Carmen Freire, Rosa Ramos, Esperanza Amaya, Mariana F Fernández, Piedad Santiago-Fernández, Maria-Jose Lopez-Espinosa, Juan-Pedro Arrebola, and Nicolas Olea

Objective

An association between thyroid function during pregnancy or infancy and neurodevelopment in children has been demonstrated. We aimed to investigate whether newborn TSH concentrations are related to subsequent neurocognitive development.

Design

We conducted a longitudinal study on 178 children from a general population birth cohort in Granada (Spain) born in 2000–2002.

Methods

TSH concentrations were measured in umbilical cord blood, and cognitive functions were assessed at 4 years of age using the McCarthy's scales of children's abilities (MSCA). Organochlorine (OC) compound concentrations and the combined oestrogenicity (total effective xeno-oestrogenic burden (TEXB)) were also determined in the placentae.

Results

Mean newborn TSH was 3.55 mU/l (range=0.24–17 mU/l). In multivariate regression analyses, adjusting for maternal and child characteristics, higher newborn TSH concentrations showed a decrease of 3.51 and 3.15 points on the MSCA general cognitive and executive function scores respectively and were associated with a higher risk of scoring below the 20th percentile (P20) on the quantitative score (odds ratio (OR)=2.64). Children with TSH in the upper quartile (4.19–17.0 mU/l) were at higher risk of scoring <P20 on span memory (OR=5.73), whereas children with TSH in the second quartile (2.05–2.95 mU/l) were at lower risk of scoring <P20 on the verbal scale (OR=0.24). Neonatal TSH status was also associated with general cognitive and executive function outcomes when controlling for prenatal exposure to OCs or placental TEXB.

Conclusions

Newborn thyroid hormone status expressed by TSH in cord blood may adversely affect later cognitive function. A more thorough screening for neonatal thyroid deficiency is warranted.

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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.

Restricted access

Aristeidis Giannakopoulos, Alexandra Efthymiadou, and Dionisios Chrysis

Objective

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.

Design

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.

Results

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.

Conclusion

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

Maik Welzel, Leyla Akin, Anja Büscher, Tülay Güran, Berthold P Hauffa, Wolfgang Högler, Julia Leonards, Beate Karges, Heiner Kentrup, Birgul Kirel, Emine Esin Yalinbas Senses, Neslihan Tekin, Paul-Martin Holterhus, and Felix G Riepe

Background

Pseudohypoaldosteronism type 1 (PHA1) is a monogenic disease caused by mutations in the genes encoding the human mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) or the α (SCNN1A), β (SCNN1B) or γ (SCNN1G) subunit of the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC). While autosomal dominant mutation of the MR cause renal PHA1, autosomal recessive mutations of the ENaC lead to systemic PHA1. In the latter, affected children suffer from neonatal onset of multi-organ salt loss and often exhibit cystic fibrosis-like pulmonary symptoms.

Objective

We searched for underlying mutations in seven unrelated children with systemic PHA1, all offsprings of healthy consanguineous parents.

Methods and results

Amplification of the SCNN1A gene and sequencing of all 13 coding exons unraveled mutations in all of our patients. We found five novel homozygous mutations (c.587_588insC in two patients, c.1342_1343insTACA, c.742delG, c.189C>A, c.1361-2A>G) and one known mutation (c.1474C>T) leading to truncation of the αENaC protein. All parents were asymptomatic heterozygous carriers of the respective mutations, confirming the autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. Five out of seven patients exhibited pulmonary symptoms in the neonatal period.

Conclusion

The α subunit is essential for ENaC function and mutations truncating the pore-forming part of the protein leading to systemic PHA1. Based on current knowledge, the pulmonary phenotype cannot be satisfactorily predicted.

Free access

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

Objective

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).

Results

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.

Conclusions

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

Leo Dunkel and Richard Quinton

Puberty is the period during which we attain adult secondary sexual characteristics and reproductive capability. Its onset depends upon reactivation of pulsative GNRH, secretion from its relative quiescence during childhood, on the background of intact potential for pituitary–gonadal function. This review is intended: to highlight those current practices in diagnosis and management that are evidence based and those that are not; to help clinicians deal with areas of uncertainty with reference to physiologic first principles; by sign-posting relevant data arising from other patient groups with shared issues; to illustrate how recent scientific advances are (or should be) altering clinician perceptions of pubertal delay; and finally, to emphasise that the management of men and women presenting in advanced adult life with absent puberty cannot simply be extrapolated from paediatric practice. There is a broad spectrum of pubertal timing that varies among different populations, separated in time and space. Delayed puberty usually represents an extreme of the normal, a developmental pattern referred to as constitutional delay of growth and puberty (CDGP), but organic defects of the hypothalamo–pituitary–gonadal axis predisposing to hypogonadism may not always be initially distinguishable from it. CDGP and organic, or congenital hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism are both significantly more common in boys than girls. Moreover, around 1/3 of adults with organic hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism had evidence of partial puberty at presentation and, confusingly, some 5–10% of these subsequently may exhibit recovery of endogenous gonadotrophin secretion, including men with Kallmann syndrome. However, the distinction is crucial as expectative (‘watch-and-wait’) management is inappropriate in the context of hypogonadism. The probability of pubertal delay being caused by organic hypogonadism rises exponentially both with increasing age at presentation and the presence of associated ‘red flag’ clinical features. These ‘red flags’ comprise findings indicating lack of prior ‘mini-puberty’ (such as cryptorchidism or micropenis), or the presence of non-reproductive congenital defects known to be associated with specific hypogonadal syndromes, e.g. anosmia, deafness, mirror movements, renal agenesis, dental/digital anomalies, clefting or coloboma would be compatible with Kallmann (or perhaps CHARGE) syndrome. In children, interventions (whether in the form or treatment or simple reassurance) have been historically directed at maximising height potential and minimising psychosocial morbidity, though issues of future fertility and bone density potential are now increasingly ‘in the mix’. Apubertal adults almost invariably harbour organic hypogonadism, requiring sensitive acknowledgement of underlying personal issues and the timely introduction of sex hormone replacement therapy at more physiological doses.

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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