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Hormone Research in Paediatrics, has become the leading journal in the field of paediatric endocrinology.

The journal shares the mission of "improving care of children with endocrine diseases by promoting knowledge and research" with the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE), and, since 1989, has become the official journal of the Society.

Find out more on the Hormone Research in Paediatrics website:-

The Growth Hormone Research Society (GRS) convened a Workshop in March 2019 to evaluate the diagnosis and therapy of short stature in children. Forty-six international experts participated at the invitation of GRS including clinicians, basic scientists, and representatives from regulatory agencies and the pharmaceutical industry. Following plenary presentations addressing the current diagnosis and therapy of short stature in children, breakout groups discussed questions produced in advance by the planning committee and reconvened to share the group reports. A writing team assembled one document that was subsequently discussed and revised by participants. Participants from regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical companies were not part of the writing process. Short stature is the most common reason for referral to the pediatric endocrinologist. History, physical examination, and auxology remain the most important methods for understanding the reasons for the short stature. While some long-standing topics of controversy continue to generate debate, including in whom, and how, to perform and interpret growth hormone stimulation tests, new research areas are changing the clinical landscape, such as the genetics of short stature, selection of patients for genetic testing, and interpretation of genetic tests in the clinical setting. What dose of growth hormone to start, how to adjust the dose, and how to identify and manage a suboptimal response are still topics to debate. Additional areas that are expected to transform the growth field include the development of long-acting growth hormone preparations and other new therapeutics and diagnostics that may increase adult height or aid in the diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency.

Background: The reason for the insufficient catch-up growth seen in 10% of children born small for gestational age (SGA) is poorly understood. Disturbances in the growth hormone (GH) – insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis might underlie this failure to show sufficient catch-up growth. Conclusion: This review summarizes insights gained in the molecular and (epi) genetic mechanisms of the GH-IGF axis in short children born SGA. The most notable anomalies of the IGF system are the lowered IGF-I levels in both cord blood and the placenta, and the increased expression of IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP)-1 and IGFBP-2, which inhibit IGF-I, in the placenta of SGA neonates. These observations suggest a decreased bioactivity of IGF-I in utero. IGF-I levels remain reduced in SGA children with short stature, as well as IGFBP-3 and acid-labile subunit levels. Proteolysis of IGFBP-3 appears to be increased.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate soluble receptor for advanced glycation end products (sRAGE) and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in adolescents with and without obesity (OB) and their correlation with vascular damage. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study with 15–19 years old adolescents: 33 with OB and 33 with normal weight (NW), each group included 17 male and 16 female. Lipid profile, insulin, carboxymethylysine (CML), sRAGE, total AGEs, and dietary AGEs intake (dAGEs) were evaluated. Vascular damage was measured by flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) and arterial stiffness index (Iβ). Homeostatic model assessment-insulin (HOMA-IR) and atherogenic index (AI) were calculated. Results: The group with OB had higher triglycerides (TG; p < 0.0001), AI (p < 0.001), HOMA-IR (p < 0.0001), dAGEs intake (p < 0.0001), lower CML (p = 0.05), total AGEs (p < 0.01), sRAGE (p < 0.001), and FMD (p < 0.002). In the total group, sRAGE correlated with AI (r = –0.26 p = 0.037); in the NW group, CML correlated with Iβ (r = –0.36; p = 0.037); and in the group of adolescents with OB, sRAGE correlated with FMD (r = –0.37; p = 0.037) and Iβ (r = 0.47; p = 0.006), while CML and total AGEs correlated with AI, p = 0.007 and p < 0.01, respectively). Conclusions: The group of adolescents with OB showed higher cardiometabolic risk as shown by higher TG, AI, HOMA-IR, and lower sRAGE and FMD. sRAGE correlated negatively with FMD and positively with Iβ, so it could be suggested as a biochemical marker of impaired endothelial function.

Tall stature and/or accelerated growth (TS/AG) in a child can be the result of a primary or secondary growth disorder, but more frequently no cause can be found (idiopathic TS). The conditions with the most important therapeutic implications are Klinefelter syndrome, Marfan syndrome and secondary growth disorders such as precocious puberty, hyperthyroidism and growth hormone excess. We propose a diagnostic flow chart offering a systematic approach to evaluate children referred for TS/AG to the general paediatrician. Based on the incidence, prevalence and clinical features of medical conditions associated with TS/AG, we identified relevant clues for primary and secondary growth disorders that may be obtained from the medical history, physical evaluation, growth analysis and additional laboratory and genetic testing. In addition to obtaining a diagnosis, a further goal is to predict adult height based on growth pattern, pubertal development and skeletal maturation. We speculate that an improved diagnostic approach in addition to expanding use of genetic testing may increase the diagnostic yield and lower the age at diagnosis of children with a pathologic cause of TS/AG.

This update, written by authors designated by multiple pediatric endocrinology societies (see List of Participating Societies) from around the globe, concisely addresses topics related to changes in GnRHa usage in children and adolescents over the last decade. Topics related to the use of GnRHa in precocious puberty include diagnostic criteria, globally available formulations, considerations of benefit of treatment, monitoring of therapy, adverse events, and long-term outcome data. Additional sections review use in transgender individuals and other pediatric endocrine related conditions. Although there have been many significant changes in GnRHa usage, there is a definite paucity of evidence-based publications to support them. Therefore, this paper is explicitly not intended to evaluate what is recommended in terms of the best use of GnRHa, based on evidence and expert opinion, but rather to describe how these drugs are used, irrespective of any qualitative evaluation. Thus, this paper should be considered a narrative review on GnRHa utilization in precocious puberty and other clinical situations. These changes are reviewed not only to point out deficiencies in the literature but also to stimulate future studies and publications in this area.

Aims: This study aimed to evaluate final adult height (AH) after recombinant human growth hormone (GH) treatment of girls with Turner syndrome (TS) and to elucidate the predicting factors for their growth response. Methods: We enrolled 73 patients with TS who underwent GH treatment and reached AH and 14 patients who did not undergo treatment. To assess the effectiveness of GH therapy, we evaluated final AH, height gain over the predicted AH, and height gain over the projected AH. In addition, to analyze the factors affecting final AH, we studied correlations between final AH (or height SDS, height gain) and treatment variables. Results: GH therapy was started at a mean age of 8.87 ± 3.73 years, and the treatment duration was 6.47 ± 3.02 years. The patients in the treated group reached a final AH of 152.03 ± 4.66 cm (final AH SDS for the general population: –1.93 ± 1.03) with a gain over projected AH at the start of treatment of 12.21 ± 4.33 cm. The untreated control subjects had a final AH of 143.57 ± 4.06 cm with a gain over projected AH at the first visit of 3.89 ± 3.80 cm. Final AH and AH SDS were positively correlated to height SDS at the start of treatment. Thirty-five patients out of the 73 GH-treated patients (47.9%) attained to a normal range of height for Korean girls. The patients having attained to a normal height range after GH treatment had shown a higher height SDS at the start of GH treatment, a higher mid-parental height SDS, and a younger age at initiation of estrogen. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that GH treatment at an early age is effective in improving the final height SDS and height SDS gain in TS patients. Therefore, GH administration at an early age is important for final height gain.

Background: Many studies have documented a link between overweight and asthma in children with contradictory results regarding the best way to measure overweight. Moreover, often, the dynamic development of atopy, overweight, and asthma is controlled for age dependency insufficiently. Objective: This study assesses and compares the associations of overweight measured as waist circumference, waist to height ratio (WHtR), neck circumference, and body mass index with the occurrence of asthma – best possibly controlling for age-dependencies of these parameters. Methods: From a sample of 2,511 children aged 6–17 years, we matched 157 children with asthma with 2 controls (n = 471) according to age and atopy status and performed conditional logistic regression analyses. We further investigated the role of known influencing factors of asthma occurrence. Results: In children with atopy, all overweight proxies were consistently positively associated with asthma. Statistical significance was reached for WHtR-SD score (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.03–1.54, p = 0.025) and persisted when further covariates, such as birth weight or social status, were added to the model. Groups of atopic versus nonatopic participants do not differ in levels of interleukin-6 or high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. Conclusion: In our cohort, overweight seems to carry a risk for asthma only if accompanied with atopy. We call for more strict age matching in pediatric cohort studies and longitudinal studies for a better understanding for causal links of overweight, atopy, and asthma.

This paper represents an international collaboration of paediatric endocrine and other societies (listed in the Appendix) under the International Consortium of Paediatric Endocrinology (ICPE) aiming to improve worldwide care of adolescent girls with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)1. The manuscript examines pathophysiology and guidelines for the diagnosis and management of PCOS during adolescence. The complex pathophysiology of PCOS involves the interaction of genetic and epigenetic changes, primary ovarian abnormalities, neuroendocrine alterations, and endocrine and metabolic modifiers such as anti-Müllerian hormone, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, adiposity, and adiponectin levels. Appropriate diagnosis of adolescent PCOS should include adequate and careful evaluation of symptoms, such as hirsutism, severe acne, and menstrual irregularities 2 years beyond menarche, and elevated androgen levels. Polycystic ovarian morphology on ultrasound without hyperandrogenism or menstrual irregularities should not be used to diagnose adolescent PCOS. Hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and obesity may be present in adolescents with PCOS, but are not considered to be diagnostic criteria. Treatment of adolescent PCOS should include lifestyle intervention, local therapies, and medications. Insulin sensitizers like metformin and oral contraceptive pills provide short-term benefits on PCOS symptoms. There are limited data on anti-androgens and combined therapies showing additive/synergistic actions for adolescents. Reproductive aspects and transition should be taken into account when managing adolescents.

Background/Aims: Disorders of sex development (DSD) are a heterogeneous group of rare conditions. Evidence-based treatment is challenged by a lack of clinical longitudinal outcome studies. We sought to investigate the quality of life of children with DSD other than congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Methods: The participants (aged 6–18 years) were 23 patients raised as males and 7 patients raised as females. Control data were obtained from representatives of the patients’ siblings matched for age and gender. The Pediatric Quality of Life InventoryTM Version 4.0 (PedsQL) Generic Core Scales were used as the study tool. Results: In comparison with the reference data, the patient group had significantly lower overall PedsQL (p < 0.01) and school functioning (p < 0.01) scores. Also, the total PedsQL score was significantly lower in patients with DSD who were of female social sex as compared to the controls who were females. Family income, surgical procedures, degree of virilization, and mode of puberty did not influence the PedsQL scores. Conclusion: This study revealed a poorer quality of life for patients with DSD as compared to the age-matched control group. This highlights the need for a skilled multidisciplinary team to manage this group of patients.

Background: Diazoxide is the first-line treatment for pediatric hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia (HI). This study aimed to elucidate the pharmacokinetics of diazoxide in children with HI. Methods: We obtained 81 blood samples from 22 children with HI. Measured serum diazoxide concentrations were used for population pharmacokinetic analysis. Patient factors influencing pharmacokinetics were estimated using nonlinear mixed-effects model analysis. Relationships between drug exposure and adverse drug reactions were also investigated. Results: Diazoxide disposition in the body was described by a 1-compartment model. Oral clearance (CL/F) and the volume of distribution were proportional to body weight (WT), as expressed by CL/F in males (liters/h) = 0.0358 + 0.00374 × WT (kg). CL/F in females was 39% greater than that in males. Steady-state concentrations of diazoxide were similar following twice- and 3 times-daily dosing when the total daily doses were comparable. A patient whose serum diazoxide concentration exceeded 100 μg/mL over a 4-month period developed hyperglycemia. No significant correlation was observed between severity of hirsutism and diazoxide concentration. Conclusion: We have proposed for the first time a population pharmacokinetic model for diazoxide in children with HI. The potential risk of diabetes mellitus and/or hyperglycemia increases when serum concentrations of diazoxide exceed 100 μg/mL.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a metabolic disease of unknown aetiology that results from the autoimmune destruction of the β-cells. Clinical onset with classic hyperglycaemic symptoms occurs much more frequently in children and young adults, when less than 30% of β-cells remain. Exogenous insulin administration is the only treatment for patients. However, due to glucose dysregulation, severe complications develop gradually. Recently, an increase in T1D incidence has been reported worldwide, especially in children. Shortly after diagnosis, T1D patients often experience partial remission called “honeymoon phase,” which lasts a few months, with minor requirements of exogenous insulin. In this stage, the remaining β-cells are still able to produce enough insulin to reduce the administration of exogenous insulin. A recovery of immunological tolerance to β-cell autoantigens could explain the regeneration attempt in this remission phase. This mini-review focuses on the remission phase in childhood T1D. Understanding this period and finding those peripheral biomarkers that are signs of immunoregulation or islet regeneration could contribute to the identification of patients with a better glycaemic prognosis and a lower risk of secondary complications. This remission phase could be a good checkpoint for the administration of future immunotherapies.

We read David Allen’s excellent mini review entitled “Growth Promotion Ethics and the Challenge to Resist Cosmetic Endocrinology” with great interest [1]. We agree with all points presented and recognize that it is impractical to cover all possible aspects, still we would like to add some reflections and considerations....

Background/Aim: Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is a heterogeneous entity. Neonatal screening programs based on thyrotropin (TSH) determination allow primary CH diagnosis but miss central CH (CCH). CCH causes morbidity, alerts to other pituitary deficiencies, and is more prevalent than previously thought. We aimed at developing a pilot neonatal screening program for CCH detection. Patients and Methods: A prospective 2-year pilot neonatal screening study based on simultaneous dried blood specimen TSH and thyroxine (T4) measurements was implemented in term newborns aged 2–7 days. Those with T4 ≤4.5 µg/dL (–2.3 SDS) and TSH <10 mIU/L were recalled (suspicious of CCH) and underwent clinical and biochemical assessment performed by expert pediatric endocrinologists. Results: A total of 67,719 newborns were screened. Primary CH was confirmed in 24 (1: 2,821). Forty-four newborns with potential CCH were recalled (recall rate 0.07%) at a mean age of 12.6 ± 4.8 days. In this group, permanent CCH was confirmed in 3 (1: 22,573), starting L-T4 treatment at a mean age of 12.3 ± 6.6 days; 14 boys showed T4-binding globulin deficiency (1: 4,837); 24 had transient hypothyroxinemia (21 non-thyroidal illness and 3 healthy); and 3 died before the confirmation stage. According to initial free T4 measurements, CCH patients had moderate hypothyroidism. Conclusions: Adding T4 to TSH measurements enabled the identification of CCH as a prevalent condition and contributed to improving the care of newborns with congenital hypopituitarism and recognizing other thyroidal disorders.

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is recognized as an escalating major health risk in adults as well as in children and adolescents. Its prevalence ranges from 6 to 39% depending on the applied definition criteria. To date, there is no consensus on a MetS definition for children and adolescents. However, most authors agree on essential components such as glucose intolerance, central obesity, hypertension, and dyslipidemia; each representing a risk for cardiovascular disease. Recently, associations between MetS and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hyperuricemia, and sleep disturbances have emerged. Biomarkers like adipocytokines are a subject of current research as they are implicated in the pathogenesis of the MetS. Epigenetics and gestational programming, especially the role of microRNA, comprise a novel, rapidly developing and promising research focus on the topic of MetS. MicroRNAs are increasingly valued for potential roles in the diagnosis, stratification, and therapeutics of MetS. Early detection of risk factors, screening for metabolic disturbances, and the identification of new therapies are major aims to reduce morbidity and mortality related to MetS. Dietary modification and physical activity are currently the only adopted treatment approaches. Pharmacological therapies and bariatric surgery are still contradictory and, therefore, are only recommended in selected high-risk cases.