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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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N Benhadi, W M Wiersinga, J B Reitsma, T G M Vrijkotte, and G J Bonsel

Background

To examine the relationship between maternal TSH and free thyroxine (FT4) concentrations in early pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage, fetal or neonatal death.

Method

Cohort study of 2497 Dutch women. TSH, FT4, and thyroid peroxidase antibodies concentrations were determined at first booking. Child loss was operationalized as miscarriage, fetal or neonatal death. Women with overt thyroid dysfunction were excluded.

Results

Twenty-seven cases of child loss were observed. The mean TSH and FT4 level in the women with child loss was 1.48 mU/l and 9.82 pmol/l compared with 1.11 mU/l and 9.58 pmol/l in women without child loss. The incidence of child loss increased by 60% (OR=1.60 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04–2.47)) for every doubling in TSH concentration. This association remained after adjustment for smoking, age, parity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, previous preterm deliveries, and previous preterm stillbirth/miscarriage (adjusted odds ratio=1.80 (95% CI: 1.07–3.03)). This was not true for FT4 concentrations (OR=1.41 (95% CI: 0.21–9.40); P=0.724).

Conclusion

In a cohort of pregnant women without overt thyroid dysfunction, the risk of child loss increased with higher levels of maternal TSH. Maternal FT4 concentrations and child loss were not associated.

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S.-I. Björklund and C. C. Jensen

During the neonatal period infants of diabetic mothers often have attacks of cyanosis, temporary cardiac murmurs and arrhythmia. Electrocardiographic changes have been observed both in the presence and in the absence of such disturbances, but in none of the children with any of these disturbances was the electrocardiogram normal (Björklund, 1953 b). The hypothesis has been advanced that the clinical symptoms and electrocardiographic changes are caused by hypokalaemia, secondary to hyperinsulinism with concomitant hyperfunction or dysfunction of the adrenal cortex (Björklund, 1953 a, b).

Venning et al. (1949) found in 2 premature infants of diabetic mothers, delivered by Caesarean section, increased glucocorticoid excretion during the first few days of life. Normalization of the excretion occurred on about the fifth day. Since these 2 infants had atelectasis and cyanosis, Venning et al. considered that the stress to which these babies were exposed was the cause of the increased function of the

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J. L. C. Ch'ng, A. Kaiser, J. Lynn, and G. F. Joplin

Abstract. Total parathyroidectomy is required to cure neonatal primary hyperparathyroidism (NPH) as any parathyroid remnant quickly becomes hyperplastic, causing recurrent hypercalcaemia. We present a patient with NPH who had total removal of his eutopic parathyroid glands but continued to have parathyroid hormone secretion from presumed ectopic parathyroid tissue. Hypercalcaemia initially recurred but normal calcium homeostasis was established as the child grew older. We postulate that the underlying defect in NPH is decreased sensitivity to the serum ionic calcium feedback inhibition at the parathyroid receptor level and that this sensitivity can improve with age.

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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. H. Gons, J. H. Kok, W. H. H. Tegelaers, and J. J. M. de Vijlder

Abstract. In this paper we describe methods for the early aetiological diagnosis of congenital hypothyroidism, using beside the classical T4, T3 and TSH plasma concentrations, four additional parameters in plasma and urine. The first one is thyroglobulin (Tg). In normal children of more than one year of age and in adults, 5–35 ng/ml plasma is found, in neonates 2–3 weeks old, this level is 10–250 ng/ml. In patients with a stimulated thyroid gland, as in primary congenital hypothyroidism, plasma Tg levels increase. High Tg values are found in iodine deficiency and in organification defects. In the absence of the thyroid gland plasma Tg is undetectable. Low to normal levels are found in cases with hypoplasia of the gland. In patients with a disturbed synthesis of Tg, resulting in Tg deficiency of the gland, plasma Tg levels vary from undetectable to normal. The PBI-T4 plasma difference, which is caused by circulating abnormal iodoproteins is the second parameter. The products of thyroidal breakdown processes of the abnormal iodoproteins are excreted in the urine and used as the third parameter. We found that the excretion of this low molecular weight iodinated material (LOMWIOM) was increased only in Tg-deficient patients.

If the neonate is found to be hypothyroid, thyroid hormone substitution must be given immediately. Blood and urine sampling can be done just before or even directly after starting the therapy. The measurements extended with the determination of the total iodine excretion (fourth parameter) can be carried out within 1 week. With these additional methods it appeared to be possible to distinguish between several types of congenital hypothyroidism in neonates found by screening.

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G.J. BRUINING, A.N BOSSCHAART, R.S.R. AARSEN, S.W.J. LAMBERTS, P.J.J. SAUER, and E. DEL POZO

ABSTRACT

A female child was admitted to the hospital few days after birth with severe hypoglycemia and convulsive episodes. Plasma insulin levels were elevated and oral and intravenous administration of glucose were unable to keep blood glucose above 2 mmol/l limit. Intravenous infusion of a long acting somatostatin analog, SMS 201-995, at a dosage gradually increasing from 2 to 50 μg/24 hr, was accompanied by a dramatic fall in circulating insulin levels. Normality of glucose homeostasis was restored and convulsive spells ceased. Fasting blood glucose levels stabilized between 3.4 and 4.7 mmol/l. No rebound phenomenon was observed during short term interruptions of the SMS 201-995 infusion. A subtotal pancreatectomy was performed during SMS treatment, and the diagnosis of nesidioblastosis was confirmed by immunocytologic and electron-microscopic studies. It is concluded that this new potent and long acting somatostatin derivative may be useful in the management of hyperinsulinism in the neonate.

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Paul van Trotsenburg, Thomas Vulsma, André M. Bloot, Reindert D. Van der Gaag, Jan Willem Lens, Hemmo A. Drexhage, and JanJ. de Vijlder

Abstract.

Antibodies against the so called 'second colloid antigen' (CA2 antibodies) occurred in 51% of the mothers of hypothyroid children detected by screening for neonatal congenital hypothyroidism in Quebec (N = 49) and in The Netherlands (N = 26). In The Netherlands where corresponding neonatal serum was available, 31% (8 of 26) of the infants with congenital hypothyroidism were positive for antibodies against the second colloid antigen. When during follow-up, 3 to 5 years after diagnosis, the mothers and their children were investigated, 46% (7 of 15) of the mothers were positive for antibodies against the second colloid antigen, whereas 29% (4 of 14) of the hypothyroid children were also positive. Various control groups did not show more than a 12% positivity. This presence of thyroid-reactive antibodies in a proportion of the hypothyroid children 3 to 5 years after diagnosis is not compatible with a mere transplacental passage; it indicates that the antibodies must be produced by the mothers and by the children themselves. We conclude that a thyroid autoimmune response occurs in a considerable part of infants with congenital hypothyroidism and their mothers and that this immune response seems to persist in both of them for years.

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Milo Zachman

In recent years, it became evident that the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis is functioning in boys already between the neonatal period and the onset of puberty. With sensitive techniques, testosterone and gonadotropines have been detected in the plasma and urine of prepubertal boys. It is now believed that, during this period of life, the axis is active, but that either the feedback mechanisms are adjusted to a different level, the hypothalamic centers being more sensitive to androgens and keeping the testicular androgen production low, or that the gonads are more refractory to the effect of gonadotropins.

The androgen levels in biological fluids from normal prepubertal boys are extremely low. It is therefore impossible to distinguish the basal values of children with defective steroid production from those of normal children. Recently, several investigators have, however, shown that stimulation of the testicular interstitial cells is possible, if human chorionic gonadotropin is administered for several

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Stefania Bargagna, Luca Chiovato, Daniela Dinetti, Lucia Montanelli, Cristina Giachetti, Elisabetta Romolini, Mara Marcheschi, and Aldo Pinchera

Abstract

Objective: Neonatal screening for congenital hypothyroidism (CH) prevents the serious neuropsychological features of CH, but the question remains whether intelligence and motor skills of CH children treated early are completely normal.

Design: In this report we describe the rare case of two genetically identical twins, only one of whom was affected by CH due to thyroid agenesis. L-Thyroxine (9 μg/kg body weight/day) therapy was initiated at 27 days of age and was adequate throughout the follow-up.

Methods: Neuropsychological evaluation was performed on the twins in parallel from 3 months to 8 years of age.

Results: The CH twin (NB) did not show major neuromotor impairments but, compared with the unaffected twin (EB), she had a slight delay in postural/motor achievements and in language development that completely disappeared at 8 years of age. On standardised tests of intelligence, NB was indistinguishable from control children but, compared with her twin, she had lower IQ scores in most testing occasions up to 7 years of age (NB = 108 vs EB = 115). School achievements of NB did not significantly differ from those of her classmates but, compared with her twin, she scored worse in writing, mechanical reading, verbal memory, and possibly in arithmetic.

Conclusions: Because the twins were genetically and phenotypically identical, were raised in the same environment, and received a similar education, it is concluded that hypothyroidism in utero and in the first neonatal month was responsible for the lower neuropsychological achievements of the CH twin. While foetal hypothyroidism is at present unavoidable, earlier diagnosis and initiation of treatment in neonates with CH are important and highly recommended.

European Journal of Endocrinology 136 100–104