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P E Clayton, R C Cuneo, A Juul, J P Monson, S M Shalet and M Tauber

The European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology held a consensus workshop in Manchester, UK in December 2003 to discuss issues relating to the care of GH-treated patients in the transition from paediatric to adult life. Clinicians experienced in the care of paediatric and adult patients on GH treatment, from a wide range of countries, as well as medical representatives from the pharmaceutical manufacturers of GH participated.

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I Banerjee, D Hanson, R Perveen, A Whatmore, G C Black and P E Clayton


Constitutional delay of growth and puberty (CDGP) is a common clinical condition that may be inherited as an autosomal dominant, recessive or X-linked trait. However, single-gene defects underlying CDGP have not yet been identified. A small number of children (to date 10) with modest growth failure and in the majority delayed puberty, a phenotype similar to that of CDGP, have been reported to carry mutations in the IGF acid labile subunit (IGFALS) gene which encodes the ALS, a part of the ternary complex carrying IGF-I in the circulation. The aim of our study was to screen a well-characterised CDGP cohort exhibiting a range of growth retardation and pubertal delay for pathogenic sequence variants in IGFALS.

Design and methods

We used denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (dHPLC) to screen for IGFALS mutations in DNA samples from 90 children (80 males) with CDGP of predominantly White European origin. DNA fragments generating abnormal waveforms were directly sequenced.


No IGFALS mutation was identified in the coding sequences or exon–intron boundaries in our CDGP cohort. One abnormal waveform pattern in dHPLC in 15 children with CDGP was found to represent a recognised synonymous single-nucleotide polymorphism of the coding transcript in the second exon in residue 210 of IGFALS.


IGFALS sequence variants are unlikely to be a common association with pubertal delay in children with CDGP.

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P G Murray, A Read, I Banerjee, A J Whatmore, L E Pritchard, R A Davies, J Brennand, A White, R J Ross and P E Clayton


Leptin deficiency caused by mutations within the leptin gene (LEP) results in severe early onset obesity, hypogonadism, pubertal delay and immune system abnormalities. Constitutional delay in growth and puberty (CDGP) is a common condition seen in paediatric clinics, in which children present with delayed growth and puberty but usually also have a slim body habitus. We hypothesized that LEP variants may play a role in the phenotype seen in CDGP.


To screen a group of children with CDGP for pathogenic sequence variants in LEP.

Patients and methods

Denaturing HPLC was used to screen for LEP sequence variants in DNA samples from 78 children with CDGP (predominantly white males) and 112 control subjects. DNA fragments with a WAVE pattern deviant from wild type were directly sequenced. A STAT3 luciferase reporter assay in human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells transiently transfected with the leptin receptor was used to test activity of mutant leptin.


One child with CDGP was identified to be heterozygous for a novel missense variant (c.68C>G), which results in a proline to arginine substitution (p.P23R). This sequence variant was not identified in any of the other control subjects, but was identified in his mother who shared a similar phenotype of slim body habitus, reduced appetite and pubertal delay (menarche aged 15 years). The leptin variant showed similar stability in serum compared with wild type and did not demonstrate increased activity in an in vitro reporter gene assay.


This is the first report of a sequence variant within the LEP gene associated with reduced body mass index rather than obesity. We hypothesize that this variant has increased bioactivity in vivo.

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I Banerjee, M Skae, S E Flanagan, L Rigby, L Patel, M Didi, J Blair, S Ehtisham, S Ellard, K E Cosgrove, M J Dunne and P E Clayton


In children with congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI), KATP channel genes (ABCC8 and KCNJ11) can be screened rapidly for potential pathogenic mutations. We aimed to assess the contribution of rapid genetic testing to the clinical management of CHI.


Follow-up observational study at two CHI referral hospitals.


Clinical outcomes such as subtotal pancreatectomy, 18F-Dopa positron emission tomography–computed tomography (PET–CT) scanning, stability on medical treatment and remission were assessed in a cohort of 101 children with CHI.


In total, 32 (32%) children had pathogenic mutations in KATP channel genes (27 in ABCC8 and five in KCNJ11), of which 11 (34%) were novel. In those negative at initial screening, other mutations (GLUD1, GCK, and HNF4A) were identified in three children. Those with homozygous/compound heterozygous ABCC8/KCNJ11 mutations were more likely to require a subtotal pancreatectomy CHI (7/10, 70%). Those with paternal heterozygous mutations were investigated with 18F-Dopa PET–CT scanning and 7/13 (54%) had a focal lesionectomy, whereas four (31%) required subtotal pancreatectomy for diffuse CHI. Those with maternal heterozygous mutations were most likely to achieve remission (5/5, 100%). In 66 with no identified mutation, 43 (65%) achieved remission, 22 (33%) were stable on medical treatment and only one child required a subtotal pancreatectomy.


Rapid genetic analysis is important in the management pathway of CHI; it provides aetiological confirmation of the diagnosis, indicates the likely need for a subtotal pancreatectomy and identifies those who require 18F-Dopa PET–CT scanning. In the absence of a mutation, reassurance of a favourable outcome can be given early in the course of CHI.

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Indraneel Banerjee, Julie A Trueman, Catherine M Hall, David A Price, Leena Patel, Andrew J Whatmore, Joel N Hirschhorn, Andrew P Read, Mark R Palmert and Peter E Clayton

Objectives: Constitutional delay of growth and puberty (CDGP) is a variant of normal pubertal timing and progress, often with dominant inheritance. It is likely that one or more genes will be associated with CDGP. Possible candidates are the leptin (L) and the leptin receptor (LR) genes, as the leptin axis links nutritional status to pubertal development. This study has assessed whether a) L or LR gene polymorphisms were associated with CDGP and b) the CDGP phenotype was influenced by these polymorphisms.

Design: Case–control and transmission disequilibrium tests were used to test genetic association of L and LR polymorphisms with CDGP.

Methods: We genotyped L (3′CTTT repeat) and LR polymorphisms (Gln>Arg substitution, exon 6) in 81 CDGP children and 94 controls in the UK and 88 CDGP children from the US and assessed the effect of genotype on their anthropometric characteristics.

Results: There was no association of these L or LR gene polymorphisms with CDGP. There was no difference in height or bone age delay within L or LR genotypes. However, UK CDGP children homozygous for the L short allele were heavier than heterozygotes and long allele homozygotes, with a similar trend in the US cohort. UK CDGP children with severe pubertal delay, who were thin, had significantly greater bone age delay and an increased frequency of parental pubertal delay than other groups and were less likely to be L short allele homozygotes.

Conclusions: There was no association of specific L or LR polymorphisms with CDGP, but L short allele carriage influenced the phenotype within CDGP.

Open access

D B Allen, P Backeljauw, M Bidlingmaier, B M K Biller, M Boguszewski, P Burman, G Butler, K Chihara, J Christiansen, S Cianfarani, P Clayton, D Clemmons, P Cohen, F Darendeliler, C Deal, D Dunger, E M Erfurth, J S Fuqua, A Grimberg, M Haymond, C Higham, K Ho, A R Hoffman, A Hokken-Koelega, G Johannsson, A Juul, J Kopchick, P Lee, M Pollak, S Radovick, L Robison, R Rosenfeld, R J Ross, L Savendahl, P Saenger, H Toft Sorensen, K Stochholm, C Strasburger, A Swerdlow and M Thorner

Recombinant human GH (rhGH) has been in use for 30 years, and over that time its safety and efficacy in children and adults has been subject to considerable scrutiny. In 2001, a statement from the GH Research Society (GRS) concluded that ‘for approved indications, GH is safe’; however, the statement highlighted a number of areas for on-going surveillance of long-term safety, including cancer risk, impact on glucose homeostasis, and use of high dose pharmacological rhGH treatment. Over the intervening years, there have been a number of publications addressing the safety of rhGH with regard to mortality, cancer and cardiovascular risk, and the need for long-term surveillance of the increasing number of adults who were treated with rhGH in childhood. Against this backdrop of interest in safety, the European Society of Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE), the GRS, and the Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) convened a meeting to reappraise the safety of rhGH. The ouput of the meeting is a concise position statement.