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  • Author: M L Marcovecchio x
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M L Marcovecchio

A 4-month-old boy was presented with failure to thrive, refusal to feed, delayed motor development, truncal hypotonia, and head lag. His plasma osmolality and sodium were significantly high, while his urine osmolality was inappropriately low and did not increase after desmopressin administration. Despite his hyperosmolality, he presented with a lack of thirst and became clearly polyuric and polydipsic only at the age of 2 years. Initial treatment with indomethacin was ineffective, while the combination of hydrochlorothiazide and amiloride was effective and well tolerated.

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C Giannini, T de Giorgis, A Scarinci, I Cataldo, M L Marcovecchio, F Chiarelli and A Mohn

Design

In order to characterize whether different degrees of adipose tissue storage may be associated with markers of early atherosclerosis, we evaluated oxidant–antioxidant status and inflammatory markers and determined carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) in healthy constitutional lean and obese pre-pubertal children.

Methods

Eighty healthy pre-pubertal lean and obese children were recruited and compared with 40 age, gender, and pubertal stage-matched normal controls. Anthropometric measurements, oxidant (urinary isoprostanes (PGF-2α), lag phase, and malondialdehyde (MDA)) and antioxidant status (vitamin E), inflammatory markers (high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)), and insulin sensitivity (fasting glucose–insulin ratio, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR)) were investigated. Furthermore, cIMT was measured by high-resolution ultrasound.

Results

hs-CRP was not different between lean and control subjects (P=0.45), while higher values were found in obese compared with lean and control children (P<0.001 and P<0.001 respectively). PGF-2α and MDA were higher while lag phase shorter in lean and obese subjects compared with controls (lean P<0.001; P<0.001; P<0.001 and obese P<0.001; P<0.001; P<0.001 respectively), while no differences were documented between lean and obese subjects (P=0.78, P=0.019, and P=0.53 respectively). Compared with controls, cIMT was increased in lean and in obese subjects (P=0.001; P=0.004), while no differences were documented between obese and lean subjects (P=0.1). In a multiple stepwise linear regression analysis, cIMT was related with PGF-2α (β=0.641, P<0.001) and HOMA-IR (β=0.307; P<0.001).

Conclusions

Pre-pubertal lean and obese children present increased oxidative stress and impaired inflammation and insulin sensitivity, which in turn seem to result in similar impaired endothelial dysfunction and early signs of atherosclerosis, already in childhood.