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R. Rosskamp, M. Becker, F. Haverkamp, B. Thomas, S. Brühl, J. Klumpp, and N. Liappis

Abstract. Following a mixed meal, plasma levels of GHRH, GH, SRIH and insulin were measured in 7 prepubertal children with constitutional delay of growth and adolescence (CDGA) and in 3 children with proven GH-deficiency which responded to GHRH-injection. In children with CDGA, plasma levels of GHRH increased between 60 and 120 min (10.1 ± 1.2 ng/l vs 25.5 ± 4.4 ng/l; P < 0.01). Although no GH increase occurred in patients with GH-deficiency, their plasma GHRH increases were comparable to those in CDGA children. No time relationship was present between circulating GHRH and GH, SRIH, or insulin, nor was there any correlation between their integrated hormone response areas. Sleep-induced plasma GHRH, GH and SRIH values were determined in 10 prepubertal children with CDGA. Spontaneous variations of plasma GHRH and GH values occurred with no temporal or quantitative relationship. SRIH values did not change during nocturnal sleep. In one child with GH-deficiency, comparable GHRH plasma fluctuations occurred, although GH values were all below 1 μg/l. Our results support the concept that circulating GHRH does not only represent hypothalamic GHRH, but derives mainly from extrahypothalamic sources, possibly from the gastrointestinal tract.

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Judith Gebauer, Eva-Maria Fick, Annika Waldmann, Thorsten Langer, Ilonka Kreitschmann-Andermahr, Hendrik Lehnert, Alexander Katalinic, and Georg Brabant

Objective

Due to the increasing success and survival rates in the primary treatment of malignancies derived from the CNS as well as the hematopoietic system, endocrine late effects of cancer and its therapy are of growing importance. Despite evaluation of these late effects in patients treated for cancer in childhood, the impact on adults remains largely unclear.

Methods

1035 adult patients primarily diagnosed with a CNS malignancy, a Hodgkin (HL) or non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) between 1998 and 2008 were recruited via the regional epidemiological cancer registry covering ∼2.8 million inhabitants in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, Northern Germany. The prevalence of endocrine disorders and current psychosocial impairment was assessed employing several questionnaires (SF-36v1, WHO-5).

Results

Fully completed questionnaires of 558 patients were available for subsequent analysis showing markedly reduced overall performance and psychological status when compared to German reference data. Thyroid disorders were reported in 16.3% of patients with 10.4% suffering from hypo- and 5.9% from hyperthyroidism. Overall, 17.6% stated to be affected by diabetes mellitus with an increased rate of 21.1% among NHL patients and 11.5% of participants were affected by osteoporosis.

Conclusion

Compared to German population based studies on the prevalence of diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis and thyroid disorders the frequency of all these endocrine problems was significantly increased in CNS, HL, and NHL cancer survivors. These data confirm that not only children and adolescents but also adult cancer patients are at risk for therapy associated endocrine late effects.

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C Ankarberg-Lindgren, E Norjavaara, and KA Wikland

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether there is evidence for impaired testicular function at final height in short boys treated with growth hormone (GH) during their childhood and adolescence. STUDY DESIGN: The analysis was restricted to males who had isolated GH deficiency or idiopathic short stature, and who were included in the Swedish National Registry and the Swedish GH trials. The subjects had to have been treated with GH for at least 4 years; the treatment had to have been started prepubertally, given for at least one year before the onset of puberty and the subjects had to have reached final height. One hundred and eleven boys fulfilled the criteria. METHODS: Testicular volumes were determined by orchidometer in each boy when GH treatment was started and at final height. Samples for testosterone measurements were collected from 77 boys at final height, and were measured by RIA. RESULTS: Each subject had normal testicular size (15 ml or more) and for those in whom concentrations were determined, serum testosterone levels and diurnal rhythm were normal. CONCLUSIONS: The results of our survey do not show evidence of testicular impairment following GH therapy.

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L Alberti, MC Proverbio, S Costagliola, G Weber, P Beck-Peccoz, G Chiumello, and L Persani

OBJECTIVE: Clinical and genetic investigations were undertaken in a case of familial hyperthyroidism, with onset of thyrotoxic symptoms varying between childhood/adolescence. METHODS: Automatic sequence analysis was carried out of the TSH receptor (TSHR) gene. Functional studies were undertaken of mutant TSHR in transient expression experiments in COS-7 cells including the evaluation of cAMP accumulation and of protein expression by flow cytometry, as well as the calculation of specific constitutive activity (SCA). RESULTS: In four affected cases, the age of onset of thyrotoxic manifestations of non-autoimmune origin varied between 5 and 18 years. The disease transmission was typically autosomal dominant. TSHR gene sequence revealed the presence of a germline heterozygous substitution at codon 597 leading to the novel mutation V597F. This residue is located in the 5th transmembrane domain of the receptor protein in a critical region for membrane targeting and signal transduction. Functional studies of the V597F mutant indicate an 11-fold increase in SCA, associated with a reduction in receptor protein expression on the cytoplasmic membrane. CONCLUSIONS: Description was made of a family with non-autoimmune autosomal dominant hyperthyroidism carrying a novel mutation of TSHR leading to the increment in specific constitutive activity. Factors that may influence the clinical expression of TSHR germline mutations are discussed.

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Jürgen R Bierich, Klaus Nolte, Konrad Drews, and Gerd Brügmann

During recent years numerous reports on the favourable results of short-term trials with GH in patients with constitutional delay of growth and adolescence (CDGA) have been published, but it has been unclear whether such treatment affects final height. In the present study, the results of long-term therapy with GH in replacement doses have been evaluated in 15 patients who were treated with GH for several years (three years on average). At the start of treatment, 10 of the children were prepubertal and 5 were in puberty. All patients were followed up until final height was reached. Mean final height of the 13 male patients was 170.0±4.4 cm, i.e. −1.58 sds. In the two female patients, final height was 150.0 cm (−3.5 sds) and 164.0cm (−0.8 sds), respectively. Adult height of the patients lagged behind target height by 5.4±3.2 cm (mean±sd), Measured adult height corresponded to adult height as predicted prior to treatment. In conclusion, GH treatment of patients with CDGA did not increase final height.

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A Crino, R Schiaffini, S Manfrini, C Mesturino, N Visalli, G Beretta Anguissola, C Suraci, D Pitocco, S Spera, S Corbi, MC Matteoli, IP Patera, ML Manca Bitti, C Bizzarri, and P Pozzilli

OBJECTIVE: Various adjuvant therapies have been introduced along with intensive insulin therapy in patients with recent onset type 1 diabetes. Nicotinamide (NA), administered at diagnosis of the disease, can have beneficial effects on the clinical remission rate, improve metabolic control and preserve or slightly increase beta-cell function, probably by reducing toxicity due to free oxygen radicals. Vitamin E, a known antioxidant, inhibits lipid peroxidation; this can lead to protection of islet beta cells from the combined effects of interleukin 1, tumor necrosis factor and gamma interferon. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the addition of vitamin E to NA could improve metabolic control and the residual beta-cell function, as measured by C-peptide secretion, in children and adolescents with recent onset type 1 diabetes; patients were followed-up for 2 years after diagnosis. PATIENTS AND STUDY DESIGN: Recent onset type 1 diabetes patients (n=64, mean age 8.8 years) were recruited by participating centres of the IMDIAB group. Thirty-two patients were randomized to NA (25 mg/kg body weight) plus vitamin E (15 mg/kg body weight); 32 patients acted as controls and received NA only at the same dose as above. Intensive insulin therapy was applied to both treatment groups. RESULTS: There were three drop outs during the 2-year follow-up period. Overall, patients assigned to the NA+vitamin E group or the NA group did not significantly differ in terms of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, insulin requirement or baseline C-peptide secretion. Patients diagnosed at an age of less than 9 years showed significantly reduced C-peptide levels compared with those aged over 9 years at diagnosis and at the 2-year follow-up but there were no differences between the NA and NA+vitamin E treated groups. However at 6 months, patients over 9 years of age treated with NA+vitamin E showed significantly higher C-peptide compared with the NA group (P<0.003). In both age groups and in the different treatment groups, C-peptide levels found at diagnosis were preserved 2 years later. CONCLUSIONS: The use of NA alone, or in combination with vitamin E, along with intensive insulin therapy is able to preserve baseline C-peptide secretion for up to 2 years after diagnosis. This finding is of particular interest for pre-pubertal children with type 1 diabetes and has never been reported before.

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F Azizi, A Sarshar, M Nafarabadi, A Ghazi, M Kimiagar, S Noohi, N Rahbar, A Bahrami, and S Kalantari

In order to detect somatic and psychomotor disturbances in children and adolescents residing in areas of iodine deficiency, schoolchildren from three areas with different degrees of iodine deficiency were studied. In Randan, the prevalence of severe endemic goiter was accompanied by alteration in thyroid function, increased thyrotropin levels and retardation of both bone and psychomotor age and decreased intellectual quotient. In Tehran, where iodine deficiency is mild, visible goiter was present in 1 5% of schoolchildren but no alterations in thyroid function, serum thyrotropin, somatic or psychomotor development could be detected. In Zagoon, where the prevalence and severity of goiter was less than Randan but more than Tehran, thyroid function was normal but slightly decreased as compared to Tehran; somatic development was unaltered, but retardation in psychomotor development was evident and the mean intellectual quotient was less than that of Tehranian schoolchildren. These findings indicate the occurrence of physical and psychomotor disturbances in apparently normal schoolchildren from areas of iodine deficiency. Alteration in psychomotor development may occur in children with normal physical growth, due to iodine deficiency.

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MT Munoz and J Argente

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a chronic childhood psychiatric illness that involves a reduction in caloric intake, loss of weight and amenorrhea, either primary or secondary. The diagnostic criteria for AN have been established by the American Psychiatric Association. The prevalence of this disease amongst adolescents and young adults is between 0.5 and 1% and the incidence of new cases per year is approximately 5-10/100,000 between 15 and 19 years of age.A number of endocrine and metabolic disturbances have been described in patients with AN including amenorrhea-oligomenorrhea, delayed puberty, hypothyroidism, hypercortisolism, IGF-I deficiency, electrolyte abnormalities, hypoglycemia and hypophosphatemia, among others. In addition to prolonged amenorrhea, osteopenia and osteoporosis are the most frequent complications leading to clinically relevant fractures and increased fracture risk throughout life. Patients exhibit an alteration in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, which is responsible for the menstrual disorders. The increase in gonadotropin secretion that can be observed after ponderal recuperation suggests that malnutrition could be the most important mechanism involved in the decrease in gonadotropin secretion.The loss of fat tissue as a consequence of nutrient restriction has been associated with hypoleptinemia and abnormal secretion of peptides implicated in food control (neuropeptide Y, melanocortins and corticotropin-releasing factor, among others).A review of the endocrine abnormalities, disturbances in neurotransmitters, as well as a detailed analysis of bone markers and bone mineral density in patients with AN is described.

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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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U Das, AJ Whatmore, J Khosravi, JK Wales, G Butler, MS Kibirige, A Diamandi, J Jones, L Patel, CM Hall, DA Price, and PE Clayton

BACKGROUND/AIM: In childhood an appropriate response to GH treatment is achieved by titration of growth response against dose administered, with careful observation for side-effects. In order to evaluate the potential use of IGF monitoring in children treated with GH, a cross-sectional study has been carried in 215 children and adolescents (134 with GH deficiency (GHD), 54 with Turner syndrome (TS) and 27 with non-GHD growth disorders) treated with GH for 0.2-13.7 years. METHODS: IGF-I and IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) were measured in ELISAs, using dried capillary blood collected onto filter papers. Results were expressed as the mean S.D. range (SDS). Values of either analyte < -2 or > +2 SDS were considered abnormal. RESULTS: IGF-I and IGFBP-3 SDS were higher in the TS and non-GHD groups (mean +0.01 and +0.1 respectively) than in those with GHD (mean value -0.6). Nineteen per cent of the IGF-I values (13% low, 6% high) and 12% of IGFBP-3 values were abnormal (10% low, 2% high). Abnormalities, either low or high, were most common in the GHD group. There was a weak but significant relationship between change in height SDS over the Year up to the time of sampling in the whole group and IGF-I SDS. Satisfactory growth performance (+0.5>change in height SDS> -0.5) was found in those with high (7.2%), normal (60%) and low (9.3%) IGF-I levels. Overall, it was estimated that 26% of the tests would indicate that an adjustment to GH dose (up in 18% and down in 8%) could be considered. CONCLUSIONS: From this cross-sectional study of IGF monitoring across a broad range of diagnoses and ages, it can be concluded that the majority of children on GH have normal levels of IGF-I and IGFBP-3, but 26% of tests could suggest that a change of GH dose should be considered. Regular monitoring of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 should be considered in any child on GH treatment.