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D. B. GRANT, D. B. DUNGER, and E. C. BURNS

Abstract

This paper reviews the outcome in 12 children with hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia who first developed symptoms between the ages of 2 and 8 months and who were treated with diazoxide (5 - 20 mg/kg/day) for 2-13 years. Two cases required subtotal pancreatectomy at the ages of 5 and 10 years because of recurrent hypoglycaemia and one girl with severe retardation died at the age of 6 years while still on diazoxide therapy. Two patients aged 3.5 and 9 years are still on treatment and in 7 cases diazoxide was discontinued between the ages of 2.5 and 14 years, indicating that spontaneous remission can be expected in a high proportion of children with post-neonatal hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia. Of the 9 children who started diazoxide within 3 months of the onset of symptoms, 5 are of normal intelligence and 4 are moderately retarded (IQs 63-71). In 3 children diazoxide was started 8 months to 3 years after the onset of symptoms; two are retarded (IQs 60-70) and the third was severely retarded and died aged 6 years.

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M Cools, P Hoebeke, K P Wolffenbuttel, H Stoop, R Hersmus, M Barbaro, A Wedell, H Brüggenwirth, L H J Looijenga, and S L S Drop

Objective

Most patients with NR5A1 (SF-1) mutations and poor virilization at birth are sex-assigned female and receive early gonadectomy. Although studies in pituitary-specific Sf-1 knockout mice suggest hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, little is known about endocrine function at puberty and on germ cell tumor risk in patients with SF-1 mutations. This study reports on the natural course during puberty and on gonadal histology in two adolescents with SF-1 mutations and predominantly female phenotype at birth.

Design and methods

Clinical and hormonal data and histopathological studies are reported in one male and one female adolescent with, respectively, a nonsense mutation (c.9T>A, p.Tyr3X) and a deletion of the first two coding exons (NCBI36/hg18 Chr9:g.(126306276-126307705)_(126303229-126302828)del) of NR5A1, both predicted to fully disrupt gene function.

Results

LH and testosterone concentrations were in the normal male range, virilization was disproportionate to the neonatal phenotype. In the girl, gonadectomy at 13 years revealed incomplete spermatogenesis and bilateral precursor lesions of testicular carcinoma in situ. In the boy, at the age of 12, numerous germ cells without signs of malignancy were present in bilateral testicular biopsy specimen.

Conclusions

In SF-1 mutations, the neonatal phenotype poorly predicts virilization at puberty. Even in poorly virilized cases at birth, male gender assignment may allow spontaneous puberty without signs of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, and possibly fertility. Patients with SF-1 mutations are at increased risk for malignant germ cell tumors. In case of preserved gonads, early orchidopexy and germ cell tumor screening is warranted. The finding of premalignant and/or malignant changes should prompt gonadectomy or possibly irradiation.

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M Salerno, M Micillo, S Di Maio, D Capalbo, P Ferri, T Lettiero, and A Tenore

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate longitudinal growth, pubertal development and final height in patients with congenital hypothyroidism (CH) detected by a neonatal screening programme, and to identify factors potentially affecting growth outcome. PATIENTS: Fifty-five patients (41 females) detected by neonatal screening and followed longitudinally from the time of diagnosis and treatment (25+/-5 days) up to the age of 17+/-0.5 years were evaluated retrospectively. RESULTS: Pubertal development began and progressed normally in both males and females. In boys, a testicular volume of 4 ml was reached at 11.3+/-1.0 years. In girls breast enlargement (B2) occurred at a mean age of 10.3+/-1.2 years and the mean age of menarche was 12.5+/-1.2 years. The onset and the progression of puberty were independent of the aetiology, the severity of CH and the timing of the beginning of treatment. Girls treated with an initial amount of L-thyroxine (L-T4) greater than 8 microg/kg per day showed an earlier onset of puberty (B2 9.4+/-0.9 years; menarche 11.5+/-0.8 years) compared with girls treated with a lower initial dose of L-T4 (B2 10.5+/-1.2 years; menarche 12.6+/-1.2 years; P<0.02). However, both groups attained a similar final height (-0.1+/-1.0 SDS and 0.4+/-1.0 SDS, respectively), which in both cases was above the target height (P=0.03). All the patients in the study attained a mean final height (0.1+/-1.1 SDS) within the normal range for the reference population and above the target height (-0.9+/-0.9 SDS, P<0.0001). No significant relationship was found between final height and severity of CH at diagnosis, initial L-T4 dosage or aetiology of the defect. Patients with ectopic gland, thyroid aplasia or in situ gland attained a similar mean final height (0.1+/-1.1 SDS, 0.5+/-1.0 SDS and -0.5+/-1.0 SDS, respectively), which was in all cases greater than target height (-1.0+/-0.9, -0.6+/-0.8, -0.9+/-0.8 respectively; P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that conventional management of children with CH detected by neonatal screening leads to normal sexual development and normal adult height, and that the major factor determining height in these children is familial genetic growth potential.

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Muneo Yoshibayashi, Tetsuro Kamiya, Yoshihiko Saito, Kazuwa Nakao, Kenya Nishioka, Shinji Temma, Hiroaki Itoh, Gotaro Shirakami, and Hisayuki Matsuo

Yoshibayashi M, Kamiya T. Saito Y. Nakao K, Nishioka K, Temma S, Itoh H, Shirakami G, Matsuo H. Plasma brain natriuretic peptide concentrations in healthy children from birth to adolescence: marked and rapid increase after birth. Eur J Endocrinol 1995;133:207–9. ISSN 0804–4643

The aim of the present study is to establish the normal range and to determine the developmental changes of plasma brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) concentrations in children. We measured plasma BNP concentrations as well as atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) concentrations in 58 healthy children from birth to adolescence and in the umbilical vein of 20 healthy neonates using highly sensitive immunoradiometric assays. The plasma BNP concentration was the highest at 0 days of age and descended through maturation to be almost constant and to be at the adult level at 3 months of age. The plasma BNP concentration at 0 days of age (56.7 ± 49.6 fmol/ml; mean±sd) was 25 to 30 times higher than the adult level and 21 times higher than that in the umbilical vein (2.7 ± 1.4fmol/ml), The plasma ANP concentration at 0 days of age was not significantly different from that in the umbilical vein. The ratio of BNP to ANP was also the highest at 0 days of age (1.39 ± 0.72) and decreased through maturation to be at the adult level at 3 months of age. Thus, the plasma BNP concentration in healthy subjects showed a marked, rapid and preferential increase immediately after birth, suggesting that BNP has a physiological role distinct from that of ANP in the perinatal circulatory changes from fetus to neonate.

Muneo Yoshibayashi, Department of Pediatrics, National Cardiovascular Center, 5-7-1 Fujishirodai, Suita, Osaka 565, Japan

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R.P. WILLIG, W. BRAUN, J.C. COMMENTZ, and N. STAHNKE

Abstract

In 3 groups of 8 children and adolescents each 1) with Prader-Willi-Labhart's Syndrome (PW-S), 2) obese patients matched for body weight (control I), and 3) normal weight subjects matched for pubertal stage (control II) plasma concentrations of melatonin, cortisol, growth hormone (hGH), insulin, gonadal hormones, and gonadotropins were measured every 1 to 4 hours in 24-hour-profiles. All hormones were determined by radioimmunoassay. The specific melatonin antibody was raised in rabbits. Criteria of the melatonin assay were as follows: detection limit for plasma concentrations of 13 pg/ml, intraassay and interassay variations: 8.4 and 11.2 %, respectively.

PW-S-patients showed cortisol fluctuations within normal limits. hGH was lower than 5 μg/l even during sleep, insulin ranged between 5 and 17o mU/l, and no excessively high glucose levels were found. Estradiol and testosterone were low for age and for pubertal development in all patients except in two girls. Basal LH and FSH levels were in the low normal range and showed sluggish response to LHRH. Plasma melatonin was low during the day, increased at mid-night and peaked at 3 a.m. Melatonin levels in PW-S were not significantly different from those in both control groups. We concluded that the impairment of gonadotropin secretion in patients with PW-S is not due to elevated levels of plasma melatonin.

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Naphtali Brand, Ruwen A. Kathein, and Gideon Hasis

ABSTRACT

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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J Kratzsch, A Deimel, A Galler, T Kapellen, A Klinghammer, and W Kiess

OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether or not serum levels of the soluble leptin receptor (sOB-R) and leptin are related to anthropometric and metabolic changes during pubertal development of children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus. DESIGN AND METHODS: Blood levels of sOB-R, leptin and HbA1C, as well as body-mass index (BMI), diabetes duration and daily insulin doses, were determined in 212 (97 girls; 115 boys) children with type 1 diabetes mellitus and compared with the sOB-R serum levels in 526 healthy children and adolescents. RESULTS: OB-R serum levels and parallel values of the molar ratio between sOB-R and leptin were significantly higher in children with diabetes than in normal children (P<0.05) in almost all investigated Tanner stages. Furthermore, in the entire group of patients, we demonstrated statistically significant correlations (P<0.02) between sOB-R and the duration of diabetes (r=0.30), HbA1c levels (r=0.32) and the insulin dose (r=0.18). Multiple-regression analysis revealed that HbA1c (12.4%), height (7.9%) and duration of diabetes (8.7%) contributed to 29% variance of sOB-R in diabetic children. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that poor glycemic control in diabetes may lead to increased serum levels of sOB-R. This regulation of sOB-R appears to be independent of leptin, but may have an impact on leptin action. The consequently developing molar excess of sOB-R related to leptin could reduce leptin sensitivity and may, therefore, influence leptin-related anthropometric and metabolic abnormalities.

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J. Sólyom, G. Gács, K. Keszei, K. Láng, J. Örley, I. Petheö, and L. Ságodi

Abstract. We investigated the value of serum levels of adrenal steroids (dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, testosterone, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, cortisol) in the identification in peripubertal females with late-onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia owing to 21-hydroxylase deficiency. Among 68 females (age 3–18 years) with virilization in childhood, peripubertally or postpubertally, we selected 21 girls for an ACTH test by measurement of basal blood-spot or serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) levels. Eight of 21 patients had supranormal post-ACTH serum 17-OHP concentration (57–153 nmol/l) with low normal cortisol concentration. All of them had supranormal basal and post-ACTH 17-OHP to cortisol ratios. These data show a relatively high incidence (about 12%) of mild 21-hydroxylase deficiency among prepubertal and adolescent girls with virilization. It is concluded that the first step in the investigation of peripubertally virilized girls should be the determination of serum 17-OHP and cortisol. Patients with basal morning 17-OHP concentration and 17-OHP to cortisol ratio above reference range should be given an ACTH test.

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H. Krawczynska, M. Zachmann, and A. Prader

ABSTRACT

Urinary testosterone glucuronide and sulphate was determined separately by gas chromatography in 39 newborns and young infants (34 males and 5 females). In all cases, testosterone sulphate was higher than glucuronide. Boys excreted more of both conjugates (sulphate 6.7, glucuronide 2.2 μg/24 h) than girls (1.1 and 0.7 μg/24 h, respectively). Boys older than 3 weeks had higher values than boys younger than 2 weeks. The levels correlated positively with chronological age, negatively with the gestational age and not at all with the bilirubin levels. It is concluded that testosterone is excreted preferentially as the sulphate in the newborn period and that the high sulphokinase activity in foetal and neonatal testes is more likely responsible for this phenomenon than an impaired glucuronizing capacity of the liver.

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Claes Rudberg, Henry Johansson, Göran Åkerström, Torsten Tuvemo, and F Anders Karlsson

Rudberg C, Johansson H, Å&#x212B; G, Tuvemo T, Karlsson FA. Graves' disease in children and adolescents. Late results of surgical treatment. Eur J Endocrinol 1996;134:710–5. ISSN0804–4643

All children and adolescents with Graves' disease in the county of Uppsala (catchment area population 250000) treated between 1970 and 1994 were evaluated in a retrospective study. The material comprised 31 patients with a mean age of 11 years (range 4–16), 29 (94%) of whom were girls, and four (13%) of the patients had Down's syndrome. Treatment was primarily conservative and surgery was considered if prolonged medical treatment failed. Lasting remission after antithyroid drug therapy (median 6.5 years; range 4.5–8 years) was noted in 6/31 patients (19%), three (10%) of whom subsequently developed hypothyroidism. Twenty-four of the remaining patients (77%) ultimately underwent subtotal (N=20) or total thyroidectomy (N=4) after experiencing one or more episodes of recurrent hyperthyroidism during medical treatment (median 6 years; range 0.5–11 years). After surgery one patient developed permanent hypocalcemia requiring low-dose vitamin D supplementation. During a postoperative follow-up period of 12.2 years (median: range 1–17 years), there were two cases of recurrent thyrotoxicosis, 1 and 10 years after surgery. The results underline that gender and Down's syndrome are risk factors of juvenile Graves' disease and that the disorder often is difficult to control by long-term medical therapy. In such cases thyroid surgery offers a safe and prompt reversal of the thyrotoxicosis. A proportion of the patients may ultimately develop hypothyroidism, substantiating a need for long-term follow-up of persons afflicted with Graves' disease early in life.

F Anders Karlsson, Department of Medicine, University Hospital, S-751 85 Uppsala. Sweden