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Lotte Kleinendorst, Ozair Abawi, Hetty J van der Kamp, Mariëlle Alders, Hanne E J Meijers-Heijboer, Elisabeth F C van Rossum, Erica L T van den Akker, and Mieke M van Haelst


Leptin receptor (LepR) deficiency is an autosomal-recessive endocrine disorder causing early-onset severe obesity, hyperphagia and pituitary hormone deficiencies. As effective pharmacological treatment has recently been developed, diagnosing LepR deficiency is urgent. However, recognition is challenging and prevalence is unknown. We aim to elucidate the clinical spectrum and to estimate the prevalence of LepR deficiency in Europe.


Comprehensive epidemiologic analysis and systematic literature review.


We curated a list of LEPR variants described in patients and elaborately evaluated their phenotypes. Subsequently, we extracted allele frequencies from the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD), consisting of sequencing data of 77 165 European individuals. We then calculated the number of individuals with biallelic disease-causing LEPR variants.


Worldwide, 86 patients with LepR deficiency are published. We add two new patients, bringing the total of published patients to 88, of which 21 are European. All patients had early-onset obesity; 96% had hyperphagia; 34% had one or more pituitary hormone deficiencies. Our calculation results in 998 predicted patients in Europe, corresponding to a prevalence of 1.34 per 1 million people (95% CI: 0.95–1.72).


This study shows that LepR deficiency is more prevalent in Europe (n = 998 predicted patients) than currently known (n = 21 patients), suggesting that LepR deficiency is underdiagnosed. An important cause for this could be lack of access to genetic testing. Another possible explanation is insufficient recognition, as only one-third of patients has pituitary hormone deficiencies. With novel highly effective treatment emerging, diagnosing LepR deficiency is more important than ever.

Open access

Irina Bacila, Nicole Freeman, Eleni Daniel, Marija Sandrk, Jillian Bryce, Salma Rashid Ali, Zehra Yavas Abalı, Navoda Atapattu, Tania A Bachega, Antonio Balsamo, Niels Birkebæk, Oliver Blankenstein, Walter Bonfig, Martine Cools, Eduardo Correa Costa, Feyza Darendeliler, Silvia Einaudi, Heba Hassan Elsedfy, Martijn Finken, Evelien Gevers, Hedi L Claahsen-van der Grinten, Tulay Guran, Ayla Güven, Sabine E. Hannema, Claire E Higham, Violeta Iotova, Hetty J. van der Kamp, Marta Korbonits, Ruth E Krone, Corina Lichiardopol, Andrea Luczay, Berenice Bilharinho Mendonca, Tatjana Milenkovic, Mirela C Miranda, Klaus Mohnike, Uta Neumann, Rita Ortolano, Sukran Poyrazoglu, Ajay Thankamony, Jeremy W Tomlinson, Ana Vieites, Liat de Vries, S Faisal Ahmed, Richard J Ross, and Nils P Krone

Objective: Despite published guidelines no unified approach to hormone replacement in congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) exists. We aimed to explore geographical and temporal variations in the treatment with glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids in CAH.

Design: This retrospective multi-center study, including 31 centers (16 countries), analyzed data from the International-CAH Registry.

Methods: Data was collected from 461 patients aged 0-18 years with classic 21-hydroxylase deficiency (54.9% females) under follow-up between 1982 – 2018. Type, dose and timing of glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid replacement was analyzed from 4174 patient visits.

Results: The most frequently used glucocorticoid was hydrocortisone (87.6%). Overall, there were significant differences between age groups with regards to daily hydrocortisone-equivalent dose for body surface, with the lowest dose (median with interquartile range) of 12.0 (10.0 – 14.5) mg/ m2/ day at age 1 - 8 years and the highest dose of 14.0 (11.6 - 17.4) mg/ m2/ day at age 12-18 years. Glucocorticoid doses decreased after 2010 in patients 0-8 years (p<0.001) and remained unchanged in patients aged 8-18 years. Fludrocortisone was used in 92% of patients, with relative doses decreasing with age. A wide variation was observed among countries with regards to all aspects of steroid hormone replacement.

Conclusions: Data from the I-CAH Registry suggests international variations in hormone replacement therapy, with a tendency to treatment with high doses in children.