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Open access

Uta Neumann, Daniela Burau, Sarah Spielmann, Martin J Whitaker, Richard J Ross, Charlotte Kloft, and Oliver Blankenstein

Objectives

Due to the lack of paediatric-licensed formulations, children are often treated with individualized pharmacy-compounded adult medication. An international web-based survey about the types of medication in children with adrenal insufficiency (AI) revealed that the majority of paediatric physicians are using pharmacy-compounded medication to treat children with AI. Observations of loss of therapy control in children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia with compounded hydrocortisone capsules and regained control after prescribing a new hydrocortisone batch led to this ‘real world’ evaluation of pharmacy-compounded paediatric hydrocortisone capsules.

Methods

Capsule samples were collected randomly from volunteering parents of treated children suffering from congenital adrenal hyperplasia from all over Germany. Analysis of net mass and hydrocortisone content by high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet (HPLC-UV) detection method was performed based on the European Pharmacopeia.

Results

In a total of 61 batches that were sent, 5 batches could not be analysed because of missing dose information, insufficient number of capsules or were not possible to be evaluated. Fifty-six batches containing 1125 capsules were evaluated. 21.4% of the batches revealed insufficiency in uniformity of net mass or drug content and additional 3.6% failed because they did not contain the labelled drug.

Conclusions

Compounded medication is a possible cause of variation of steroid doses in children with adrenal insufficiency or congenital adrenal hyperplasia, putting these vulnerable patients at risk of poor disease control and adrenal crisis. These data may apply to other individualized compounded oral medication as well, emphasizing the need for development of licensed paediatric formulations approved by regulatory authorities.

Open access

D B Allen, P Backeljauw, M Bidlingmaier, B M K Biller, M Boguszewski, P Burman, G Butler, K Chihara, J Christiansen, S Cianfarani, P Clayton, D Clemmons, P Cohen, F Darendeliler, C Deal, D Dunger, E M Erfurth, J S Fuqua, A Grimberg, M Haymond, C Higham, K Ho, A R Hoffman, A Hokken-Koelega, G Johannsson, A Juul, J Kopchick, P Lee, M Pollak, S Radovick, L Robison, R Rosenfeld, R J Ross, L Savendahl, P Saenger, H Toft Sorensen, K Stochholm, C Strasburger, A Swerdlow, and M Thorner

Recombinant human GH (rhGH) has been in use for 30 years, and over that time its safety and efficacy in children and adults has been subject to considerable scrutiny. In 2001, a statement from the GH Research Society (GRS) concluded that ‘for approved indications, GH is safe’; however, the statement highlighted a number of areas for on-going surveillance of long-term safety, including cancer risk, impact on glucose homeostasis, and use of high dose pharmacological rhGH treatment. Over the intervening years, there have been a number of publications addressing the safety of rhGH with regard to mortality, cancer and cardiovascular risk, and the need for long-term surveillance of the increasing number of adults who were treated with rhGH in childhood. Against this backdrop of interest in safety, the European Society of Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE), the GRS, and the Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) convened a meeting to reappraise the safety of rhGH. The ouput of the meeting is a concise position statement.

Open access

Tansit Saengkaew, Heena R Patel, Kausik Banerjee, Gary Butler, Mehul T Dattani, Michael McGuigan, Helen L Storr, Ruben H Willemsen, Leo Dunkel, and Sasha R Howard

Context

Pubertal delay can be the clinical presentation of both idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) and self-limited delayed puberty (SLDP). Distinction between these conditions is a common but important diagnostic challenge in adolescents.

Objective

To assess whether gene panel testing can assist with clinical differential diagnosis and to allow accurate and timely management of delayed puberty patients.

Design

Retrospective study.

Methods

Patients presenting with delayed puberty to UK Paediatric services, followed up to final diagnosis, were included. Whole-exome sequencing was analysed using a virtual panel of genes previously reported to cause either IHH or SLDP to identify rarely predicted deleterious variants. Deleterious variants were verified by in silico prediction tools. The correlation between clinical and genotype diagnosis was analysed.

Results

Forty-six patients were included, 54% with a final clinical diagnosis of SLDP and 46% with IHH. Red flags signs of IHH were present in only three patients. Fifteen predicted deleterious variants in 12 genes were identified in 33% of the cohort, with most inherited in a heterozygous manner. A fair correlation between final clinical diagnosis and genotypic diagnosis was found. Panel testing was able to confirm a diagnosis of IHH in patients with pubertal delay. Genetic analysis identified three patients with IHH that had been previously diagnosed as SLDP.

Conclusion

This study supports the use of targeted exome sequencing in the clinical setting to aid the differential diagnosis between IHH and SLDP in adolescents presenting with pubertal delay. Genetic evaluation thus facilitates earlier and more precise diagnosis, allowing clinicians to direct treatment appropriately.

Open access

Oliver Blankenstein, Marta Snajderova, Jo Blair, Effie Pournara, Birgitte Tønnes Pedersen, and Isabelle Oliver Petit

Objective

To describe real-life dosing patterns in children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD), born small for gestational age (SGA) or with Turner syndrome (TS) receiving growth hormone (GH) and enrolled in the NordiNet International Outcome Study (IOS; Nbib960128) between 2006 and 2016.

Design

This non-interventional, multicentre study included paediatric patients diagnosed with GHD (isolated (IGHD) or multiple pituitary hormone deficiency (MPHD)), born SGA or with TS and treated according to everyday clinical practice from the Czech Republic (IGHD/MPHD/SGA/TS: n = 425/61/316/119), France (n = 1404/188/970/206), Germany (n = 2603/351/1387/411) and the UK (n = 259/60/87/35).

Methods

GH dosing was compared descriptively across countries and indications. Proportions of patients by GH dose group (low/medium/high) or GH dose change (decrease/increase/no change) during years 1 and 2 were also evaluated across countries and indications.

Results

In the Czech Republic, GH dosing was generally within recommended levels. In France, average GH doses were higher for patients with IGHD, MPHD and SGA than in other countries. GH doses in TS tended to be at the lower end of the recommended label range, especially in Germany and the UK; the majority of patients were in the low-dose group. A significant inverse association between baseline height standard deviation score and GH dose was shown (P < 0.05); shorter patients received higher doses. Changes in GH dose, particularly increases, were more common in the second (40%) than in the first year (25%).

Conclusions

GH dosing varies considerably across countries and indications. In particular, almost half of girls with TS received GH doses below practice guidelines and label recommendations.

Open access

Huseyin Demirbilek, Ved Bhushan Arya, Mehmet Nuri Ozbek, Jayne A L Houghton, Riza Taner Baran, Melek Akar, Selahattin Tekes, Heybet Tuzun, Deborah J Mackay, Sarah E Flanagan, Andrew T Hattersley, Sian Ellard, and Khalid Hussain

Background

Neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM) is a rare form of monogenic diabetes and usually presents in the first 6 months of life. We aimed to describe the clinical characteristics and molecular genetics of a large Turkish cohort of NDM patients from a single centre and estimate an annual incidence rate of NDM in South-Eastern Anatolian region of Turkey.

Design and methods

NDM patients presenting to Diyarbakir Children State Hospital between 2010 and 2013, and patients under follow-up with presumed type 1 diabetes mellitus, with onset before 6 months of age were recruited. Molecular genetic analysis was performed.

Results

Twenty-two patients (59% males) were diagnosed with NDM (TNDM-5; PNDM-17). Molecular genetic analysis identified a mutation in 20 (95%) patients who had undergone a mutation analysis. In transient neonatal diabetes (TNDM) patients, the genetic cause included chromosome 6q24 abnormalities (n=3), ABCC8 (n=1) and homozygous INS (n=1). In permanent neonatal diabetes (PNDM) patients, homozygous GCK (n=6), EIF2AK3 (n=3), PTF1A (n=3), and INS (n=1) and heterozygous KCNJ11 (n=2) mutations were identified. Pancreatic exocrine dysfunction was observed in patients with mutations in the distal PTF1A enhancer. Both patients with a KCNJ11 mutation responded to oral sulphonylurea. A variable phenotype was associated with the homozygous c.-331C>A INS mutation, which was identified in both a PNDM and TNDM patient. The annual incidence of PNDM in South-East Anatolian region of Turkey was one in 48 000 live births.

Conclusions

Homozygous mutations in GCK, EIF2AK3 and the distal enhancer region of PTF1A were the commonest causes of NDM in our cohort. The high rate of detection of a mutation likely reflects the contribution of new genetic techniques (targeted next-generation sequencing) and increased consanguinity within our cohort.

Open access

Michel Polak, Jo Blair, Primoz Kotnik, Effie Pournara, Birgitte Tønnes Pedersen, and Tilman R Rohrer

Objective

To investigate the effect of age at growth hormone (GH) treatment start on near adult height (NAH) in children with isolated GH deficiency (GHD).

Design

NordiNet® International Outcome Study (IOS) (Nbib960128), a non-interventional, multicentre study, evaluates the long-term effectiveness and safety of Norditropin® (somatropin) (Novo Nordisk A/S) in the real-life clinical setting.

Methods

Patients (n = 172) treated to NAH (height at ≥18 years, or height velocity <2 cm/year at ≥16 (boys) or ≥15 (girls) years) were grouped by age (years) at treatment start (early (girls, <8; boys, <9), intermediate (girls, 8–10; boys, 9–11) or late (girls, >10; boys, >11)) and GHD severity (<3 ng/mL or 3 to ≤10 ng/mL). Multiple regression analysis was used to evaluate the effect of age at treatment start (as a categorical and continuous variable) on NAH standard deviation score (SDS).

Results

Age at treatment start had a marked effect on NAH SDS; NAH SDS achieved by patients starting treatment early (n = 40 (boys, 70.0%); least squares mean (standard error) −0.76 (0.14)) exceeded that achieved by those starting later (intermediate, n = 42 (boys, 57.1%); −1.14 (0.15); late, n = 90 (boys, 68.9%); −1.21 (0.10)). Multiple regression analysis showed a significant association between NAH SDS and age at treatment start (P < 0.0242), baseline height SDS (HSDS) (P < 0.0001), target HSDS (P < 0.0001), and GHD severity (P = 0.0012). Most (78.5%) patients achieved a normal NAH irrespective of age at treatment start.

Conclusions

Early initiation of GH treatment in children with isolated GHD improves their chance of achieving their genetic height potential.

Open access

Anuradhaa Subramanian, Jan Idkowiak, Konstantinos A Toulis, Shakila Thangaratinam, Wiebke Arlt, and Krishnarajah Nirantharakumar

Context

The incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has been on the rise, driven by maternal obesity. In parallel, pubertal tempo has increased in the general population, driven by childhood obesity.

Objective

To evaluate the available evidence on pubertal timing of boys and girls born to mothers with GDM.

Data sources

We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL Plus, Cochrane library and grey literature for observational studies up to October 2019.

Study selection and extraction

Two reviewers independently selected studies, collected data and appraised the studies for risk of bias. Results were tabulated and narratively described as reported in the primary studies.

Results

Seven articles (six for girls and four for boys) were included. Study quality score was mostly moderate (ranging from 4 to 10 out of 11). In girls born to mothers with GDM, estimates suggest earlier timing of pubarche, thelarche and menarche although for each of these outcomes only one study each showed a statistically significant association. In boys, there was some association between maternal GDM and earlier pubarche, but inconsistency in the direction of shift of age at onset of genital and testicular development and first ejaculation. Only a single study analysed growth patterns in children of mothers with GDM, describing a 3-month advancement in the age of attainment of peak height velocity and a slight increase in pubertal tempo.

Conclusions

Pubertal timing may be influenced by the presence of maternal GDM, though current evidence is sparse and of limited quality. Prospective cohort studies should be conducted, ideally coupled with objective biochemical tests.

Open access

Simon Kayemba-Kay's, Michael P P Geary, Jane Pringle, Charles H Rodeck, John C P Kingdom, and Peter C Hindmarsh

Background

Low birth weight (BW), small head circumference, reduced length, increased preterm births and neuro-endocrine dysfunctions are among known consequences of smoking during pregnancy. Few studies have linked leptin to clinical features of growth restriction associated with maternal smoking and explored interaction with other determinants of size at birth, such as gender.

Methods

Cord serum leptin concentrations were measured in 1215 term infants born to Caucasian mothers at completion of uneventful pregnancy. Serum concentrations were related to BW, gestational length, gender and maternal smoking and interaction with other determinants of size at birth evaluated.

Results

Smoking was more frequent in younger (P<0.001) and shorter mothers (P=0.03) from lower socio-economic groups (SEGPs) (P<0.001). Infants born to smokers were lighter (190 g less), shorter and with smaller head circumference. Cord serum leptin concentrations were higher in girls (9.8 s.d. 7.6 ng/ml) than in boys (7.05 s.d. 5.8 ng/ml) (P<0.001). Boys were heavier (BW 3.52 s.d. 0.49 kg) than girls (3.39 s.d. 0.44 kg) (P<0.001), but girls had greater skinfold thickness measurements (sub-scapular and quadriceps skinfold thicknesses 5.5 s.d. 1.6 mm and 7.6 s.d. 1.9 mm respectively; boys 5.3 s.d. 1.6 vs 7.24±1.90 mm, P<0.001 respectively). Multivariate analyses showed gender (P<0.001), BW SDS (P<0.001), gestational length (P<0.001) and maternal smoking (P<0.042) as factors that influenced umbilical cord serum leptin concentrations in newborns.

Conclusion

Maternal smoking restrains foetal growth through placental vascular effects, and likely also via associated effects on leptin metabolism. More studies are needed to determine the influence that maternal smoking may have on placental syncytiotrophoblast and foetal adipose tissue.

Open access

Dilek Cicek, Nick Warr, Gozde Yesil, Hatice Kocak Eker, Firdevs Bas, Sukran Poyrazoglu, Feyza Darendeliler, Gul Direk, Nihal Hatipoglu, Mehmet Eltan, Zehra Yavas Abalı, Busra Gurpinar Tosun, Sare Betul Kaygusuz, Tuba Seven Menevse, Didem Helvacioglu, Serap Turan, Abdullah Bereket, Richard Reeves, Michelle Simon, Matthew Mackenzie, Lydia Teboul, Andy Greenfield, and Tulay Guran

Context: Homozygous and heterozygous variants in PPP2R3C are associated with syndromic 46,XY complete gonadal dysgenesis (MEGD syndrome), and impaired spermatogenesis, respectively. This study expands the role of PPP2R3C in the aetiology of gonadal dysgenesis (GD). 

Method: We sequenced the PPP2R3C gene in four new patients from three unrelated families. The clinical, laboratory and molecular characteristics were investigated. We have also determined the requirement for Ppp2r3c in mice (C57BL6/N) using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing.

Results: A homozygous c.578T>C (p.L193S) PPP2R3C variant was identified in one 46,XX girl with primary gonadal insufficiency, 2 girls with 46,XY complete GD, and one undervirilized boy with 46,XY partial GD. The patients with complete GD had low gonadal and adrenal androgens, low AMH, and high FSH and LH concentrations. All patients manifested characteristic features of MEGD syndrome.

Heterozygous Ppp2r3c knockout mice appeared overtly normal and fertile. Inspection of homozygous embryos at 14.5, 9.5 and 8.5 days post coitum revealed evidence of dead embryos. We conclude that loss of function of Ppp2r3c is not compatible with viability in mice and results in embryonic death from 7.5 dpc or earlier.

Conclusion: Our data indicate essential roles for PPP2R3C in mouse and human development. Germline homozygous variants in human PPP2R3C are associated with distinctive syndromic GD of varying severity in both 46,XY and 46,XX individuals.

Open access

V Jain, L A Metherell, A David, R Sharma, P K Sharma, A J L Clark, and L F Chan

Background

Familial glucocorticoid deficiency (FGD) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterised by isolated glucocorticoid deficiency. Mutations in the ACTH receptor/melanocortin 2 receptor (MC2R), the MC2R accessory protein (MRAP) or the STAR protein (STAR) cause FGD types 1, 2 and 3, respectively, accounting for ∼50% of all cases.

Patient and methods

We report a neonate of Indian origin, who was diagnosed with FGD in the first few days of life. He presented with hypoglycaemic seizures and was noted to have generalised intense hyperpigmentation and normal male genitalia. Biochemical investigations revealed hypocortisolaemia (cortisol 0.223 μg/dl; NR 1–23 μg/dl) and elevated plasma ACTH (170 pg/ml). Serum electrolytes, aldosterone and plasma renin activity were normal. Peak cortisol following a standard synacthen test was 0.018 μg/dl. He responded to hydrocortisone treatment and continues on replacement. Patient DNA was analysed by direct sequencing. The effect of the novel mutation was assessed by an in vitro splicing assay using wild type and mutant heterologous minigenes.

Results

A novel homozygous mutation c.106+2_3dupTA was found in the MRAP gene. Both parents were heterozygous for the mutation. In an in vitro splicing assay, the mutation resulted in the skipping of exon 3.

Conclusion

We have identified a novel MRAP mutation where disruption of the intron 3 splice-site results in a prematurely terminated translation product. This protein (if produced) would lack the transmembrane domain that is essential for MC2R interaction. We predict that this would cause complete lack of ACTH response thus explaining the early presentation in this case.