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  • Author: Janielle A.e.m. van der Velden x
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Layla Damen, Lionne N. Grootjen, Stephany H. Donze, Laura C.g. de Graaff, Janielle A.e.m. van der Velden, and Anita Cs Hokken-Koelega


In children with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), growth hormone (GH) treatment has positive effects on bone mineral density (BMD). Two one-year studies did not show a difference between GH or placebo on BMD in young adults with PWS. However, there are no studies investigating BMD during longer-term GH treatment in young adults with PWS.


Open-label, prospective study in 43 young adults with PWS.


BMD of the total body (BMDTBSDS) and lumbar spine (BMADLSSDS) measured by DXA.


In the total group, estimated mean (95% CI) BMDTB remained similar during 3 years of GH, being -0.76 (-1.11 to -0.41) SDS at start and -0.90 (-1.27 to -0.54) SDS after 3 years (p=0.11), as did BMADLS, being -0.36 (-0.72 to 0.01) SDS and -0.46 (-0.77 to -0.16) SDS resp. (p=0.16). In men, there was a significant decrease in BMDTBSDS during 3 years of GH, while BMADLSSDS remained similar. In women, both BMDTBSDS and BMADLSSDS remained similar. BMDTBSDS was associated with female sex, lean body mass and age. The majority of patients received sex steroid replacement therapy (SSRT).


During 3 years of combined GH and SSRT treatment, BMD remained stable in the normal range in young adults with PWS. However, men showed a decline in BMDTBSDS, probably due to insufficient SSRT. We recommend to continue GH treatment in young adults with PWS and to start SSRT during adolescence unless puberty progresses normally.

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Kim Freriks, Theo C J Sas, Maaike A F Traas, Romana T Netea-Maier, Martin den Heijer, Ad R M M Hermus, Jan M Wit, Janiëlle A E M van Alfen-van der Velden, Barto J Otten, Sabine M P F de Muinck Keizer-Schrama, Martin Gotthardt, Philippe H Dejonckere, Gladys R J Zandwijken, Leonie A Menke, and Henri J L M Timmers


Short stature is a prominent feature of Turner syndrome (TS), which is partially overcome by GH treatment. We have previously reported the results of a trial on the effect of oxandrolone (Ox) in girls with TS. Ox in a dose of 0.03 mg/kg per day (Ox 0.03) significantly increased adult height gain, whereas Ox mg/kg per day (0.06) did not, at the cost of deceleration of breast development and mild virilization. The aim of this follow-up study in adult participants of the pediatric trial was to investigate the long-term effects of previous Ox treatment.

Design and methods

During the previous randomized controlled trial, 133 girls were treated with GH combined with placebo (Pl), Ox 0.03, or Ox 0.06 from 8 years of age and estrogen from 12 years. Sixty-eight women (Pl, n=23; Ox 0.03, n=27; and Ox 0.06, n=18) participated in the double-blind follow-up study (mean age, 24.0 years; mean time since stopping GH, 8.7 years; and mean time of Ox/Pl use, 4.9 years). We assessed height, body proportions, breast size, virilization, and body composition.


Height gain (final minus predicted adult height) was maintained at follow-up (Ox 0.03 10.2±4.9 cm, Ox 0.06 9.7±4.4 cm vs Pl 8.0±4.6 cm). Breast size, Tanner breast stage, and body composition were not different between groups. Ox-treated women reported more subjective virilization and had a lower voice frequency.


Ox 0.03 mg/kg per day has a beneficial effect on adult height gain in TS patients. Despite previously reported deceleration of breast development during Ox 0.03 treatment, adult breast size is not affected. Mild virilization persists in only a small minority of patients. The long-term evaluation indicates that Ox 0.03 treatment is effective and safe.