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Esben T Vestergaard, Mia E Schjørring, Konstantinos Kamperis, Karin Kastberg Petersen, Søren Rittig, Anders Juul, Kurt Kristensen, and Niels H Birkebæk


Premature thelarche and precocious puberty are frequently diagnosed in girls even below 6 years of age and may be difficult to differentiate in the early stages. A GnRH test is often included in the diagnostic work-up, although interpretation of the GnRH test in girls below 6 years of age is challenging, as no reference interval exists for this age group. The objective is to determine the normal FSH and LH response to a GnRH test in healthy prepubertal girls below 6 years of age.

Design and methods

A standardized GnRH test, baseline reproductive hormones, clinical evaluation and bone age were determined in all participants. Forty-eight healthy normal-weight girls aged 3.5 ± 0.2 years (range: 0.8–5.9 years) were included. Serum concentrations of LH and FSH were measured before and 30 min after the gonadorelin injection.


The 30-min LH responses (mean ± 2 s.d.) were 5.2 ± 4.0 and 2.9 ± 2.5 IU/L and the FSH responses were 23.3 ± 16.2 and 14.5 ± 10.3 IU/L in girls aged 0.8–3.0 years and 3.0–5.9 years respectively. This corresponds to upper cut-off limits for LH of 9.2 IU/L (<3 years) and 5.3 IU/L (3–6 years). The stimulated LH/FSH ratio was 0.23 ± 0.19 (range 0.06–0.43) and did not correlate with age.


We found that LH increases up to 9.2 IU/L during GnRH test in healthy normal-weight girls below 3 years of age and that the stimulated LH/FSH ratio did not exceed 0.43. Our findings have important implications for appropriate diagnosis of central precocious puberty in girls below 6 years of age.

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.