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M Wasniewska, T Arrigo, M Cisternino, F De Luca, L Ghizzoni, M Maghnie and M Valenzise

OBJECTIVE: To investigate which pretreatment variables most significantly affect long-term growth response to GH therapy in children with apparently idiopathic GH deficiency (GHD) treated from a similar and very young age (less than 2 years), for the same period (7 years) and with the same therapeutic protocol. DESIGN AND METHODS: Twelve children with either isolated GHD or multiple pituitary hormone deficiency were treated with biosynthetic human GH (0.7IU/kg per week) and were examined every 6 months. Height measurements were performed by Harpenden stadiometers. Bone age was evaluated every 12 months. RESULTS: The onset of therapy was followed in all patients by an important height gain, which attained its zenith during the first year of treatment and became progressively less evident during the next 4 years. Cumulative height gain was 3.0+/-1.7SDS. Thanks to the therapy, at the end of the 7-year treatment period, average height in the entire series was not significantly far from mean target height (TH) (-0.7+/-1.3 vs -0. 3+/-0.4SDS) and average predicted height (PH) (-0.2+/-1.4SDS) was very close to TH. A stepwise regression analysis showed that both catch-up growth under therapy and PH at the end of the 7-year treatment period were positively influenced by birth weight (BW). CONCLUSIONS: a) Our 7-year prospective study on GHD infants treated with GH from less than 2 years of age confirmed the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of GHD in childhood. b) The influence of BW on growth response to GH therapy in GHD children persists over time, at least when treatment is begun from less than 2 years of age.

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T Arrigo, M Cisternino, F Galluzzi, S Bertelloni, AM Pasquino, F Antoniazzi, P Borrelli, G Crisafulli, M Wasniewska and F De Luca

The aim of this retrospective study was to analyze the factors which affected the auxological response to GnRH agonist treatment and the final height (FH) outcome in 71 girls with idiopathic and truly precocious (onset before 8 years) central puberty (CTPP) who had been treated with the same therapy protocol (Decapeptyl Depot, 60 microg/kg i.m. every 28 days) for at least 2 years (since 7.0+/-1. 3 (S.D.) years of age) and followed until puberty was completed and FH was reached. During the entire treatment period we observed: (a) a decrease of height standard deviation scores (SDS) (from 1.5+/-1.7 to 0.9+/-1.3 SDS, P<0.01); (b) a striking deceleration of bone age (BA), revealed by the subnormal DeltaBA:Deltachronological age (CA) ratio (0.2+/-0.1); (c) an increase of predicted adult height (from 155.6+/-7.0 to 160.7+/-6.7 cm, P<0.0005). Treatment interruption was followed by an important catch-down growth, with an FH (158.4+/-5.8 cm) lower (P<0.025) than that predicted at the end of therapy. However, FH fell within the population norm and the target range in respectively 87.3 and 90% of the patients. The tallest FH was recorded in the patients who started therapy at less than 6 years of age and in those who discontinued treatment at a BA of 12.0--12.5 years. At stepwise regression analysis, FH in the whole study population was positively affected by the following independent factors: (a) height at the end of therapy (F=45.45, P<0.0001); (b) pretreatment height (F=13.91, P<0.0005); (c) treatment duration (F=8. 51, P<0.005); (d) target height (TH) (F=7.70, P<0.01). We conclude that: (i) most girls with idiopathic CTPP treated by GnRH agonists may achieve an adult height within the population norm and/or their target range; (ii) the height gain from therapy onset until FH attainment, however, is generally rather limited (on average 2.9 cm) and only few patients are able to reach their target percentile; (iii) the most favorable height prognosis with respect to TH is generally observed in the subjects with the tallest height at the end of treatment and the lowest BA2:CA2 ratio, due to the important deterioration of height prognosis which frequently follows therapy interruption; (iv) FH is also significantly conditioned by both TH and treatment duration; (v) in order to strengthen the weak therapeutic effect of GnRH agonists in CTPP this treatment should be started as early as possible and discontinued at a BA of 12.0--12.5 years.

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Marco Bonomi, Valeria Vezzoli, Csilla Krausz, Fabiana Guizzardi, Silvia Vezzani, Manuela Simoni, Ivan Bassi, Paolo Duminuco, Natascia Di Iorgi, Claudia Giavoli, Alessandro Pizzocaro, Gianni Russo, Mirella Moro, Letizia Fatti, Alberto Ferlin, Laura Mazzanti, Maria Chiara Zatelli, Salvo Cannavò, Andrea M Isidori, Angela Ida Pincelli, Flavia Prodam, Antonio Mancini, Paolo Limone, Maria Laura Tanda, Rossella Gaudino, Mariacarolina Salerno, Pregnolato Francesca, Mohamad Maghnie, Mario Maggi, Luca Persani and Italian Network on Central Hypogonadism


Isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) is a rare disorder with pubertal delay, normal (normoosmic-IHH, nIHH) or defective sense of smell (Kallmann syndrome, KS). Other reproductive and non-reproductive anomalies might be present although information on their frequency are scanty, particularly according to the age of presentation.


Observational cohort study carried out between January 2008 and June 2016 within a national network of academic or general hospitals.


We performed a detailed phenotyping of 503 IHH patients with: (1) manifestations of hypogonadism with low sex steroid hormone and low/normal gonadotropins; (2) absence of expansive hypothalamic/pituitary lesions or multiple pituitary hormone defects. Cohort was divided on IHH onset (PPO, pre-pubertal onset or AO, adult onset) and olfactory function: PPO-nIHH (n = 275), KS (n = 184), AO-nIHH (n = 36) and AO-doIHH (AO-IHH with defective olfaction, n = 8).


90% of patients were classified as PPO and 10% as AO. Typical midline and olfactory defects, bimanual synkinesis and familiarity for pubertal delay were also found among the AO-IHH. Mean age at diagnosis was significantly earlier and more frequently associated with congenital hypogonadism stigmata in patients with Kallmann’s syndrome (KS). Synkinesis, renal and male genital tract anomalies were enriched in KS. Overweight/obesity are significantly associated with AO-IHH rather than PPO-IHH.


Patients with KS are more prone to develop a severe and complex phenotype than nIHH. The presence of typical extra-gonadal defects and familiarity for PPO-IHH among the AO-IHH patients indicates a common predisposition with variable clinical expression. Overall, these findings improve the understanding of IHH and may have a positive impact on the management of patients and their families.