Hormone Research in Paediatrics is 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, in 1989, became the official journal of the Society.
Find out more on the Hormone Research in Paediatrics website:-
Introduction: Youth with classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) have higher prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors such as obesity, abdominal adiposity, and hypertension. Patients with CAH also exhibit an earlier adiposity rebound (AR) compared to normative populations. However, the predictive relationship between AR and cardiometabolic risk factors needs to be better understood. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study at a US tertiary pediatric center in youth with classical CAH due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency. AR was determined by cubic polynomial modeling. A subset of participants had fasting analytes, whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and magnetic resonance imaging as adolescents. Results: In 42 youth with CAH (45.2% female, 54.8% Hispanic, and 90.5% salt-wasting form), the average age at AR was 3.4 ± 1.3 years. AR differed by BMI-z, with youth with obesity having an earlier AR (2.8 ± 1.0 years) compared to lean youth (4.1 ± 1.3 years, p = 0.001). However, AR did not differ by either CAH form or sex. Earlier AR predicted higher BMI-z at 7 and 12 years of age. In addition, earlier AR predicted increased central obesity (as measured by waist circumference, subcutaneous adipose tissue, and trunk fat) and total body fat in adolescence. AR was negatively correlated with bone age, and its relationships with HDL and hypertension were trending towards significance. Conclusions: AR in youth with classical CAH could serve as a useful clinical marker to identify those patients who are at higher risk for developing cardiometabolic risk factors during childhood and adolescence.
The increasing cure rate of cancer has led to a vast population of survivors having to face the late adverse effects of oncological treatments, with fertility impairment being one of the most sensitive issues for patients. Different options to preserve the fertility of adult patients are routinely used in clinical practice. However, fertility preservation strategies for prepubertal patients at risk of infertility are limited to the cryopreservation of immature gonadal tissue. In recent decades, many research efforts have been focused on the future use of cryopreserved gonadal tissue. This review discusses the common status of fertility preservation measures for pediatric patients undergoing gonadotoxic treatment, focusing especially on the challenges that remain to be solved in order to implement this fundamental service.
Background/Aims: Kisspeptin (KP) is a key player in the regulation of the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which increases the secretion of gonadotropin during puberty to establish reproductive function and regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Premature activation of GnRH secretion leads to idiopathic/central gonadotropin-dependent precocious puberty (CPP). We aimed to compare the blood KP concentrations in girls with CPP and healthy controls. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, and SciELO. Random-effects model and standardized mean difference (SMD) were used. Heterogeneity was assessed through I2. Meta-regression considered patient age, KP fraction, and analytical method for KP measurement. Results: The 11 studies included comprised 316 CPP patients and 251 controls. Higher KP levels in the CPP group were found (SMD 1.53; CI 95% = 0.56–2.51). Subgroup analysis revealed association with patient age (p = 0.048), indicating a positive correlation between elevation in KP concentration and age in CPP group. A group of patients with precocious thelarche (PT) from 5 of the included studies comprising 121 patients showed higher levels of KP (1.10; −0.25–2.45: CI 95%) and high heterogeneity (I2 = 91%). The CPP/PT ratio for KP level indicates KP 36% higher on CPP than PT patients. Conclusions: A consistent difference in KP levels between girls with CPP and controls was identified. While there are important limitations in KP assays which argue against its use as a diagnostic tool, the KP levels in CPP versus control and PT children are consistent with the predicted mechanisms and pathophysiology of CPP.
Background: Insulin resistance is a pathophysiological condition associated with diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases that is characterized by a diminished tissue response to insulin action. Our understanding of this complex phenomenon and its role in the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic diseases is rooted in the discovery of insulin, its isolation and purification, and the challenges encountered with its therapeutic use. Summary: In this historical perspective, we explore the evolution of the term “insulin resistance” and demonstrate how advances in insulin and glucose analytics contributed to the recognition and validation of this metabolic entity. We identify primary discoveries which were pivotal in expanding our knowledge of insulin resistance, the challenges in measurement and interpretation, contemporary techniques, and areas of future exploration. Key Message: Measurements of insulin resistance are important tools for defining and treating cardiometabolic diseases. Accurate quantification of this pathophysiological entity requires careful consideration of the assumptions and pitfalls of the methodological techniques and the historical and clinical context when interpreting and applying the results.
Introduction: Current health literature suggests that there has been a decline in the age of pubertal onset and that pubertal onset/duration of puberty may, besides weight status, be influenced by socioeconomic context. Objective: The goal of this study was to determine whether pubertal onset/duration and puberty-triggering hormones luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) vary according to socioeconomic status (SES). Moreover, we aimed to propose cutoff values of serum LH and FSH for predicting gonadarche in boys. Methods: 2,657 apparently healthy children and adolescents between 5.5 and 18 years from the area of Leipzig were recruited from the LIFE Child study. Age at pubertal onset/end of puberty was given in 738/573 children, respectively. Anthropometric parameters of puberty, blood measurements of LH and FSH, and questionnaires assessing SES were evaluated. Results: Lower SES was associated with earlier thelarche and longer duration of puberty in overweight/obese girls, whereas age of menarche was not affected. In boys with low SES, a trend versus earlier puberty onset can be seen. Lower SES was significantly associated with boys’ age at mutation. No significant differences in boys’ and girls’ serum levels of LH and FSH during puberty according to SES were observed. Serum LH levels of 0.56 IU/L and serum FSH levels of 1.74 IU/L showed the best prediction of gonadarche in boys. Conclusion: Puberty onset/duration and boys’ age at mutation is affected by SES. The proposed cutoff levels for serum LH and FSH could provide a serological tool to determine gonadarche in boys.
Background: Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues (GnRHa) administered as depot formulations are the standard of care for children with central precocious puberty (CPP). Puberty resumes after treatment discontinuation, but little is known concerning fertility in women who have been treated with GnRHa for CPP during childhood. Methods: The PREFER (PREcocious puberty, FERtility) study prospectively analysed fertility, via a series of questionnaires, in women treated during childhood with triptorelin (depot formulation) for CPP. Co-primary endpoints were the proportion of women wanting a pregnancy any time before study inclusion and during the follow-up period but not pregnant 6 and 12 months after stopping contraception and the waiting time to pregnancy (WTP). Results: A total of 574 women were identified, and 194 women were included in the analysis. Although there were not enough data for primary endpoint assessment, few women (1.7%) reported issues with fertility or were unable to become pregnant despite trying to conceive. Most pregnancies (84.4%, 95% CI [67.2–94.7%]) occurred within 1 year of trying to conceive, in line with the WTP for women without previous CPP. Conclusion: The results, based on a limited sample of patients, suggest that CPP treated with triptorelin does not negatively impact women’s fertility in adulthood. These results need to be consolidated with a subsequent study performed when these women will have reached their mid-thirties.
More than 80% of pediatric solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients now survive into young adulthood and many encounter transplant-related complications. Post-transplantation diabetes mellitus (PTDM), sometimes also referred to as post-transplant diabetes or new onset diabetes after transplant, occurs in 3–20% of pediatric SOT recipients depending upon the organ transplanted, age at transplantation, immunosuppressive regimen, family history, and time elapsed since transplant. To diagnose PTDM, hyperglycemia must persist beyond the initial hospitalization for transplantation when a patient is on stable doses of immunosuppressive medications. Though standard diagnostic criteria used by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to diagnose diabetes are employed, clinicians need to be aware of the limitations of using these criteria in this unique patient population. Management of PTDM parallels strategies used for type 2 diabetes (T2D), while also carefully considering comorbidities and potential interactions with immunosuppressive medications in these patients. In caring for patients with PTDM, it is important to be familiar with these interactions and comorbidities in order to coordinate care with the transplant team and optimize outcomes for these patients.
Background: Craniopharyngioma (CP), despite being a malformational tumor of low histological grade, causes considerable morbidity and mortality mostly due to hypothalamo-pituitary dysfunction that is created by tumor itself or its treatment. Summary: Fluid-electrolyte disturbances which range from dehydration to fluid overload and from hypernatremia to hyponatremia are frequently encountered during the acute postoperative period and should be carefully managed to avoid permanent neurological sequelae. Hypopituitarism, increased cardiovascular risk, hypothalamic damage, hypothalamic obesity, visual and neurological deficits, and impaired bone health and cognitive function are the morbidities affecting the well-being of these patients in the long term. Key Messages: Timely and optimal treatment of early postoperative and long-term complications of CP is crucial for preserving quality of life of these patients.
Introduction: Besides programming of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, changes in the activity of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-HSD2) could contribute to the later metabolic and cardiovascular consequences of preterm birth. Objective: We compared serum cortisol, cortisone, and cortisol/cortisone ratio in early childhood in very-low-birthweight (VLBW) infants and term appropriate for gestational age (AGA) born infants. Methods: We included 41 VLBW infants, participating in the randomized controlled Neonatal Insulin Replacement Therapy in Europe trial, and 64 term AGA-born infants. Cortisol and cortisone were measured in blood samples taken at 6 months and 2 years corrected age (VLBW children) and at 3 months and 1 and 2 years (term children). At 2 years of (corrected) age (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, and insulin were also measured. Results: During the first 2 years of life, cortisol/cortisone ratio is higher in VLBW children compared to term children. In the total group of children, cortisol/cortisone ratio is positively related to triglycerides at 2 years of (corrected) age. In VLBW children, over the first 2 years of life both cortisol and cortisone are higher in the early-insulin group compared to the standard care group. Conclusions: In VLBW infants, lower 11β-HSD2 activity probably contributes to the long-term metabolic and cardiovascular risks. In VLBW infants, early insulin treatment could affect programming of the HPA axis, resulting in higher cortisol and cortisone levels during early childhood.
Background: Diabetes diagnosed within the first 6 months of life is defined as neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM). Mutations in the KCNJ11, ABCC8, and INS genes are the most common cause of permanent NDM. In populations with a high rate of consanguinity, Wolcott-Rallison syndrome caused by biallelic EIF2AK3 mutations is common. Methods: We studied the clinical characteristics and underlying genetic cause of disease in 15 individuals with diabetes onset before 6 months of age as defined by sustained hyperglycaemia requiring insulin treatment. Patients who had a remission of the diabetes, defined by a normal blood glucose and HbA1c value without insulin or sulphonylurea (SU) treatment, within the first 18 months of life were classified as having transient NDM (TNDM). Results: We report 15 patients with NDM from 14 unrelated families, including 10 with reported parental consanguinity. 1/15 patients had a remission of diabetes, leading to a diagnosis of TNDM. Mutations were detected in 80% (n = 12/15) of the cohort (ABCC8 [n = 4], PTF1A-distal enhancer [n = 3], KCNJ11 [n = 2], EIF2AK3 [n = 1], INS [n = 1], and SLC19A2 [n = 1]). All cases were initially treated with multiple dose insulin injections. One patient with an ABCC8 mutation transitioned from insulin to SU resulting in improved metabolic control at the age of 20 years. Conclusion: Although the number of individuals born to consanguineous parents was considerably high in this cohort, KATP channel mutations (ABCC8/KCNJ11) were more common than EIF2AK3 mutations (n = 6 vs. n = 1). Genetic analyses should be performed in all NDM cases due to the potential impact on treatment and prognosis.
Turner syndrome (TS), characterized by the partial or complete absence of an X-chromosome, provides a unique insight into the role of the X-chromosome and the immune system. While women have a 10-fold higher incidence of autoimmune disease (AD) compared with men, the risk in women with TS is thought to be further doubled. TS is associated with a propensity for a wide variety of ADs that increase in incidence across the life span. Isochromosome Xq as well as isolated Xp deletion karyotypes may predispose to higher rates of AD in TS suggesting the impact of X-chromosome gene dosage. It is likely, however, that epigenetic changes across the genome and the hormonal milieu may also have a profound impact on the immune profile in TS. This review explores the immune phenotype and the spectrum of ADs in TS. Genotype-phenotype correlations are presented with a brief overview of the genetic and hormonal underpinnings.
Background: Mutations of the insulin receptor (INSR) gene lead to a wide spectrum of inherited insulin resistance (IR) syndromes. Among these, type A-IR, usually caused by dominant negative INSR mutations, generally presents peri-pubertally in girls. Case: A 2.8-year-old girl was referred due to recurrent postprandial and fasting hypoglycemia. She had been born at full-term with birth weight 1.89 kg, and had developed transient neonatal diabetes. Examination showed satisfactory growth, reduced adipose tissue, acanthosis nigricans, and isolated thelarche. After 12 h of fasting, she developed hypoglycemia (glucose 2.8 mmol/L), with inappropriately raised plasma insulin concentration of 5.4 mU/L and suppressed fatty acids and ketone bodies. Oral glucose tolerance testing showed severely increased plasma insulin concentration (>300 mU/L) with hypoglycemia (glucose 1.6 mmol/L) at 2.5 h. She was initially managed on dietary modifications, cornstarch, and then trialed on acarbose for postprandial hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia (PPHH) with some response. However, she was noted to have increased frequency of hyperglycemia after a couple of years of treatment. She was then switched to metformin and continued to have dietary carbohydrate modification including cornstarch that improved fasting tolerance, hyperglycemia, and postprandial hypoglycemia. Genetic testing identified heterozygous deletion of the last exon of the INSR gene, exon 22. Conclusion: We present a case of type A-IR, caused by a novel INSR deletion, presenting unusually early with transient neonatal diabetes, followed by episodes of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia during later childhood. Early life presentations, including neonatal diabetes and PPHH, should lead to consideration of type A-IR.
Introduction: Few data exist on long-term growth hormone (GH) treatment in patients with Noonan syndrome (NS). Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of GH treatment in NS in clinical practice. Methods: Height gain, near-adult height (NAH), and safety were assessed in 2 complementary non-interventional studies: NordiNet® IOS and ANSWER. The safety analysis included 412 patients, and the effectiveness analysis included 84 GH-treated patients (male, n = 67) with ≥4 years’ height standard deviation score (HSDS) data. HSDS was determined using national reference (NR) and NS-specific (NSS) data. Results: The mean (SD) baseline age was 8.38 (3.57) years; HSDS, −2.76 (1.03); GH dose, 41.6 (11.1) µg/kg/day. The mean (SD) HSDS increase from baseline (ΔHSDS) was 0.49 (0.37) (first year), 0.79 (0.58) (second year), and 1.01 (0.60) (third year) (NR). The mean (SD) HSDS at year 3 was −1.66 (1.00) (NR; 1.06 [1.12] [NSS]). Twenty-four patients achieved NAH. The mean (SD) NAH SDS (NR) was −1.51 (0.60) (154.90 [3.21] cm) in females and −1.79 (1.09) (165.61 [7.19] cm) in males; 70.8% (17/24) had NAH SDS ≥ −2. Adverse drug reactions and GH-unrelated serious adverse events (n = 34) were reported in 22/412 (5.3%) patients. Four neoplasms and 3 cases of scoliosis were reported; no cardiovascular adverse events occurred. Conclusions: GH-treated children with NS achieved substantial height gain during the first 3 years of follow-up. Overall, 24 patients achieved NAH, with 70.8% having NAH SDS ≥ –2. There was no evidence to support a higher prevalence of neoplasm, or cardiac or other comorbidities.
Introduction: The thyroid parafollicular hormone calcitonin (CT) shows particularly high blood levels in early childhood, a period of high bone turnover, which decrease with increasing age. Data about the physiological role of CT during infancy, childhood, and adolescence are contradictory or lacking. Objective: We hypothesize that CT demonstrates age-related correlations with parameters of bone growth and turnover as well as with parameters of calcium homeostasis. Methods: 5,410 measurements of anthropometric data and venous blood samples were collected from 2,636 participants of the LIFE Child study, aged 2 months–18 years. Univariate correlations and multiple regression analysis were performed between serum CT and anthropometric indicators (height standard deviation scores [SDS] and BMI-SDS), markers of calcium (Ca) homeostasis (Ca, parathyroid hormone, 25-OH vitamin D, and phosphate [P]), bone formation (procollagen type 1 N-terminal propeptide [P1NP], osteocalcin), and bone resorption (β-CrossLaps). Results: CT was significantly associated with Ca (β = 0.26, p < 0.05) and P1NP/100 (β = 0.005, p < 0.05) in children aged 2 months–1.1 years. These relations were independent of age and sex and could not be confirmed in children aged 1.1–8 years. Independent of age, sex, puberty, P, and height SDS CT showed a significant positive relation to Ca (β = 0.26; p < 0.001) in children aged 8–18 years. Conclusions: Our findings suggest a unique association between CT and Ca in periods of rapid bone growth and point to a possible involvement of CT in promoting bone formation during the first year of life.
Background: Pediatric endocrine practices had to rapidly transition to telemedicine care at the onset of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. For many, it was an abrupt introduction to providing virtual healthcare, with concerns related to quality of patient care, patient privacy, productivity, and compensation, as workflows had to change. Summary: The review summarizes the common adaptations for telemedicine during the pandemic with respect to the practice of pediatric endocrinology and discusses the benefits and potential barriers to telemedicine. Key Messages: With adjustments to practice, telemedicine has allowed providers to deliver care to their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The broader implementation of telemedicine in pediatric endocrinology practice has the potential for expanding patient access. Research assessing the impact of telemedicine on patient care outcomes in those with pediatric endocrinology conditions will be necessary to justify its continued use beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Introduction: Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) mutations lead to systemic disturbances in growth and glucose homeostasis due to widespread IGF1R expression throughout the body. IGF1R is expressed by innate and adaptive immune cells, facilitating their development and exerting immunomodulatory roles in the periphery. Case Presentation: We report on a family presenting with a novel heterozygous IGF1R mutation with characterization of the mutation, IGF1R expression, and immune phenotyping. Twin probands presented clinically with short stature and hypoglycemia. Variable phenotypic expression was seen in 2 other family members carrying the IGF1R mutation. The probands were treated with exogenous growth hormone therapy and dietary cornstarch, improving linear growth and reducing hypoglycemic events. IGF1R c.641-2A>G caused abnormal mRNA splicing and premature protein termination. Flow cytometric immunophenotyping demonstrated lower IGF1R on peripheral blood mononuclear cells from IGF1R c.641-2A>G subjects. This alteration was associated with reduced levels of T-helper 17 cells and a higher percentage of T-helper 1 cells compared to controls, suggesting decreased IGF1R expression may affect CD4+ Th-cell lineage commitment. Discussion: Collectively, these data suggest a novel loss-of-function mutation (c.641-2A>G) leads to aberrant mRNA splicing and IGF1R expression resulting in hypoglycemia, growth restriction, and altered immune phenotypes.
Introduction: Hyperinsulinism (HI), the most common neonatal cause of persistent hypoglycemia, can be associated with prolonged hospitalizations and risk for long-term neurological sequelae. Rapid identification of transient versus persistent forms of HI is crucial to optimize management. Objectives: The aims of the study were to assess the ability of clinical and biochemical features at presentation to predict transient versus persistent HI, and to evaluate differences in hospital outcomes. Methods: This study is a retrospective review of 79 infants with HI admitted to the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, from 2012 to 2017. Patients were classified into 3 groups: transient and the 2 persistent forms, diazoxide responsive and diazoxide unresponsive (DU). Results: Infants with birth weight >90th percentile had an 8-fold increased risk of having a persistent form of HI (OR 8.8, 95% CI 2.5–30) and a 21-fold increased risk of having a DU form of HI (OR 21.1, 95% CI 4.9–91.8). The majority of children with transient HI and a birth weight >90th percentile were born to mothers with gestational diabetes. There were no other useful clinical or biochemical presenting features that differentiated the groups. There were significant differences in outcome measures, with the DU children more likely to require gastrostomy tube insertion and have an extended length of hospital admission. Conclusion: A higher birth weight in the absence of maternal gestational diabetes is highly associated with a persistent form of HI. Given the marked difference in clinical outcomes between groups, expedited genetic testing should be considered in infants with this presentation to inform clinical management.
Introduction: Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is an autosomal recessive disease predominantly caused by 21-hydroxylase deficiency. Clinical management in children includes glucocorticoid and often mineralocorticoid treatment alongside monitoring outcomes such as anthropometry, pubertal status, blood pressure, and biochemistry. Objective: The objective of this pilot study was to present the use of 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) and androgen metabolites expressed as standard deviation (SD) scores rather than actual concentrations as a tool in the management of children with CAH as well as in research settings. Methods: The study was a retrospective, longitudinal study that took place in a single, tertiary center and included 38 children and adolescents aged 3–18 years with CAH due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency. Biochemical measurements of 17-OHP, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate (DHEAS), and testosterone using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry were expressed as SD scores, and outcomes such as genotype, height, bone maturation, blood pressure, and treatment doses were extracted from patient files. Results: The majority (86%) of CAH patients had 17-OHP measurements above +2 SD during standard hydrocortisone therapy, receiving an average daily hydrocortisone dose of 12.6 mg/m2. Androstenedione concentrations were mostly within ±2 SD, whereas DHEAS values were below –2 SD in 47% of patients. Conclusions: Applying sex- and age-related SD scores to 17-OHP and androgen metabolite concentrations allows for monitoring of hydrocortisone treatment independent of age, sex, assay, and center. We propose that 17-OHP and androgen metabolites expressed as SD scores be implemented as a unifying tool that simplifies research and, in the future, also optimal management of treatment.
Patients affected by pseudohypoparathyroidism (PHP) or related disorders are characterized by physical findings that may include brachydactyly, a short stature, a stocky build, early-onset obesity, ectopic ossifications, and neurodevelopmental deficits, as well as hormonal resistance most prominently to parathyroid hormone (PTH). In addition to these alterations, patients may develop other hormonal resistances, leading to overt or subclinical hypothyroidism, hypogonadism and growth hormone (GH) deficiency, impaired growth without measurable evidence for hormonal abnormalities, type 2 diabetes, and skeletal issues with potentially severe limitation of mobility. PHP and related disorders are primarily clinical diagnoses. Given the variability of the clinical, radiological, and biochemical presentation, establishment of the molecular diagnosis is of critical importance for patients. It facilitates management, including prevention of complications, screening and treatment of endocrine deficits, supportive measures, and appropriate genetic counselling. Based on the first international consensus statement for these disorders, this article provides an updated and ready-to-use tool to help physicians and patients outlining relevant interventions and their timing. A life-long coordinated and multidisciplinary approach is recommended, starting as far as possible in early infancy and continuing throughout adulthood with an appropriate and timely transition from pediatric to adult care.
Although metabolic syndrome (MetS) in children and adolescents is a frequently discussed topic in the literature, uniform guidelines on its definition and treatment are still lacking. Insulin resistance, central obesity, dyslipidaemia, and hypertension are commonly considered the main components of MetS. The first recommended approach to all these pathological conditions in children and adolescents is lifestyle intervention (diet and physical exercise); however, in some selected cases, a pharmacological or surgical treatment might prove useful for the prevention of metabolic and cardiovascular complications. The aim of this review is to present the more recent evidence about the treatment of the major components of MetS in children and adolescents, focussing on the current recommendations concerning lifestyle changes, available drugs, and bariatric surgery.
Background: Children with nonclassical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NCCAH) often present increased growth velocity secondary to elevation of adrenal androgens that accelerates bone maturation and might compromise adult height (AH). Objective: The aim of the study was to analyze prognostic factors affecting growth trajectory (GT) and AH in children with NCCAH. Methods: The study was a retrospective, multicentric study. The study population consisted of 192 children with a confirmed molecular diagnosis of NCCAH, followed by pediatric endocrinology centers from diagnosis up to AH. Clinical records were collected and analyzed. AH (standard deviation score; SDS), pubertal growth (PG) (cm), GT from diagnosis to AH (SDS), and AH adjusted to target height (TH) (AH-TH SDS) were evaluated as outcome indicators using stepwise linear regression models. Results: The stepwise linear regression analysis showed that AH and AH-TH were significantly related to chronological age (CA) (p = 0.008 and 0.016), bone age (BA)/CA ratio (p = 0.004 and 0.001), height (H) (p < 0.001 for both parameters) at NCCAH diagnosis, and TH (p = 0.013 and <0.001). PG was higher in males than in females (22.59 ± 5.74 vs. 20.72 ± 17.4 cm, p = 0.002), as physiologically observed, and was positively related to height (p = 0.027), negatively to BMI (p = 0.001) and BA/CA ratio (p = 0.001) at NCCAH diagnosis. Gender, genotype, biochemical data, and hydrocortisone treatment did not significantly impair height outcomes of these NCCAH children. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that AH and GT of NCCAH patients are mainly affected by the severity of phenotype (CA, BA/CA ratio, and H) at the time of diagnosis.
Background/Objectives: In the clinical assessment of a short or tall child, estimating body disproportion is useful to assess the likelihood of a primary growth disorder, e.g., skeletal dysplasia. Our objectives were (1) to use data from the Maastricht study on healthy children (2–17 years) to calculate relative arm span (AS) for height (H) to serve as age references for clinical purposes; (2) to assess its age and sex dependency; and (3) to investigate relative AS adjustment for age and sex in individuals with ACAN haploinsufficiency. Methods: The Maastricht study data (2,595 Caucasian children, 52% boys, 48% girls) were re-analysed to produce reference tables and graphs for age and sex of AS – H and AS/H. Published information on AS/H in Europeans was used as reference data for adults. Relative AS from 33 patients with ACAN haploinsufficiency were plotted against reference data and expressed as standard deviation score (SDS) for age and sex. Results: Mean AS – H from 2 to 17 years increased from –1.2 to +1.5 cm in boys and from –4.8 to +1.6 cm in girls. Mean AS/H increased from 0.9848 to 1.0155 in boys and from 0.9468 to 1.0028 in girls. Mean AS/H in patients with ACAN haploinsufficiency was approximately 1.0, 1.5 and 0.5 SDS in young children, adolescents and 20- to 50-year-olds, respectively, and normal thereafter. Conclusions: These reference charts can be used for 2- to 17-year-old children/adolescents. Carriers of ACAN haploinsufficiency have an elevated mean AS/H in childhood and adolescence and a slightly elevated ratio till 50 years.
Introduction: Omnitrope® was approved as a biosimilar recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) in 2006. Objective: The purpose of this work was to evaluate the long-term safety and effectiveness of Omnitrope® in PATRO Children – an ongoing, international, longitudinal, non-interventional study in children who require rhGH treatment. Methods: The study population includes infants, children, and adolescents receiving Omnitrope®. Adverse events (AEs) are monitored for safety and rhGH effectiveness is evaluated by calculation of the height standard deviation score (HSDS), height velocity (HV), and HVSDS using height measurements and country-specific references. Results: As of November 2017, 6,009 patients from 298 centers across 14 countries were enrolled in PATRO Children. Overall, 57.7% of patients had growth hormone deficiency (GHD), 25.8% were born small for gestational age (SGA), and 4.8% had Turner syndrome (TS). In total, 84.1% were rhGH treatment naïve at study entry. The mean duration of Omnitrope® treatment in the study was 36.1 months (range 0–133.7). Overall, 10,360 AEs were reported in 2,750 patients (45.8%). Treatment-related AEs were reported in 396 patients (6.6%; 550 events), and serious AEs (SAE) in 636 patients (10.6%; 1,191 events); 50 SAEs in 37 patients (0.6%) were considered treatment related. Following 5 years of therapy in patients who were rhGH treatment naïve at study entry, improvement from baseline in mean HSDS was +1.85 in GHD, +1.76 in SGA, and +1.0 in TS patients. In total, 912 (17.9%) patients reached adult height (n = 577 GHD, n = 236 SGA, n = 62 TS). Conclusions: This analysis of PATRO Children indicates that biosimilar rhGH is well tolerated and effective in real-world clinical practice.
The association between birth size and cardiometabolic disease risk may be U-shaped. Being born small for gestational age (SGA) has a definitive association with later cardiovascular risk, but the impact of being born large for gestational age (LGA) on cardiometabolic health is more controversial. In addition to birth size, early postnatal growth pattern and later weight gain affect cardiometabolic risk in adulthood. Most SGA-born children have catch-up and LGA-born children have catch-down growth during the first years of life. The extent of this early compensatory growth may contribute to the adverse health outcomes. Both SGA- and LGA-born children are at an increased risk for overweight and obesity. This may have a long-term impact on cardiometabolic health as overweight tends to track to adulthood. Other cardiometabolic risk factors, including alterations in glucose metabolism, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and low-grade inflammation are associated with birth weight. Many of these risk factors are related to overweight or adverse fat distribution. Since later cardiometabolic risk is often mediated by early growth pattern and later overweight in SGA and LGA children, it is important to focus on staying normal weight throughout life. Hence, effective interventions to reduce cardiometabolic risk in LGA and SGA children should be developed.
Background/Aims: Screening newborns for congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is problematic owing to the dynamic changes in serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) levels following birth. Our study objectives were to determine the accuracy of screening, severity of CAH, and biochemical and clinical outcomes of cases detected by our program which collects specimens at 2 time periods following birth. Methods: We reviewed all CAH cases detected in the Northwest Regional Newborn Screening Program from 2003 through 2017. Comparison was made of screening and confirmatory serum 17-OHP, neonatal, maternal, and follow-up auxologic data, steroid treatment doses, and 21-hydroxylase genotype in cases detected on the first versus second test. Results: Out of 164 cases of CAH, 25% were detected on the second screen. Infants detected on the second test had a lower screening 17-OHP (147 vs. 294 ng/mL), lower confirmatory serum 17-OHP (7,772 vs. 14,622 ng/dL), and were more likely to have simple virilizing CAH. There were no identifiable neonatal or maternal factors associated with detection on the second test. 21-Hydroxylase genotypes overlapped in first versus second screen cases. Conclusion: Early collection of specimens necessitated by early discharge resulted in milder CAH cases falling below the screening 17-OHP cutoff. In our program 25% of cases were detected on a routine second screen.
Minipuberty describes the transient sex-specific activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis during the first 6 months of life in boys and during the first 2 years in girls. It leads to a rise of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, estradiol, and testosterone. The existence of minipuberty has been known for >40 years, but we still do not fully understand why it takes place. Current thinking suggests that it is an essential imprinting period for different body functions. Firstly, minipuberty plays an important role in genital organ development; testosterone influences penile growth, the number of Sertoli cells, and spermatogenesis. Secondly, it seems to influence the infant’s body composition; testosterone likely has an imprinting effect on BMI and body weight of boys and growth velocity in the first 6 months of life. Thirdly, it affects cognitive functions; testosterone has an impact on language organization in the infant brain and estradiol affects laryngeal sound production and baby babbling. There are inconsistent findings concerning the impact of minipuberty on sex-specific playing behavior. Minipuberty is an interesting field of research, and further studies in this area will teach us more about this exciting period of human development.
Objective: The major part of craniopharyngioma (CP) morbidity is the tumor and/or treatment-related damage, which results in impaired function of the hypothalamic-pituitary axes and metabolic derangements. The aim of the study was to analyze the prevalence of long-term endocrine and metabolic comorbidities in a national cohort of CP patients based on the age at diagnosis and histology criteria. Design: A retrospective-prospective longitudinal cohort analysis. Methods: Forty-six patients with CP treated from 1979 onwards (19 with childhood-onset disease) in a single university institution were included in our study. Median follow-up from presentation was 12.8 years (interquartile range: 8.3–22.2 years) and comparable between age-at-diagnosis and histological subtype groups. Data on tumor histology were extracted from patients’ records and re-evaluated if tissue samples were available (n = 32). Results: Childhood-onset patients presented more frequently with headache, and adult-onset with visual impairment. Prevalence of at least one pituitary axis affected increased from 54% at presentation to 100% at follow-up in childhood-onset and from 41 to 93% in adult-onset CP. Growth hormone deficiency, central diabetes insipidus, and panhypopituitarism were more prevalent in childhood-onset adamantinomatous CP (aCP) and least prevalent in adult-onset papillary CP (pCP). At follow-up, metabolic syndrome (MetS) was diagnosed in 80% of childhood-onset and 68% of adult-onset patients (p = 0.411). In the latter group, it tended to be more frequent in the aCP than pCP subtype (80 vs. 50%, p = 0.110). Conclusions: Long-term endocrine and metabolic complications are very frequent in childhood- and adult-onset CP patients of both histological subtypes. The prevalence of MetS was higher compared to the largest cohort previously reported.
Body growth and development are regulated among others by genetic and epigenetic factors. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are epigenetic regulators of gene expression that act at the post-transcriptional level, thereby exerting a strong influence on regulatory gene networks. Increasing studies suggest the importance of miRNAs in the regulation of the growth plate and growth hormone (GH)-insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis during the life course in a broad spectrum of animal species, contributing to longitudinal growth. This review summarizes the role of miRNAs in regulating growth in different in vitro and in vivo models acting on GH, GH receptor (GHR), IGFs, and IGF1R genes besides current knowledge in humans, and highlights that this regulatory system is of importance for growth.
Background: The prevalence of youth diagnosed with prediabetes is increasing, yet there is a lack of guidelines on how to manage this condition clinically. Objectives: The aim was to determine the short-term outcomes of patients referred with prediabetes and to determine predictors of worsening dysglycemia in youth. Study Design: This is a retrospective chart review of patients referred to our Youth Diabetes Prevention Clinic (YDPC) with laboratory tests indicating an increased risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D). We defined glycemic categories by HbA1c with normoglycemia as HbA1c <5.7%, prediabetes I (P1) as HbA1c 5.7 to <6.0%, and prediabetes II (P2) as HbA1c 6.0 to <6.5%. We compared HbA1c at the time of referral (screening HbA1c) and at the YDPC visit (YDPC HbA1c) to assess for improvement or worsening. Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess predictors of prediabetes. Results: Among 562 patients seen, 336 had both screening and YDPC HbA1c values. Race (p < 0.001) and screening glycemic category (p < 0.001) were significantly associated with dysglycemia at the YDPC visit, while sex (p = 0.50), BMI z-score change (p = 0.27), and days from referral (p = 0.83) were not. As compared to those who reverted to normoglycemia, patients with prediabetes at YDPC were 7 times more likely to have a higher screening HbA1c (both P1 and P2). The majority of patients referred with prediabetes had lower HbA1c at the YDPC (75.4–82.6%). Conclusion: Patients with screening HbA1c <6% might benefit from a 4-month follow-up at primary care while recommending lifestyle changes. Patients of minority race and screening HbA1c ≥6% are more likely to have a persistent elevation of HbA1c.
Introduction: Isolated adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) deficiency (IAD) is a rare cause of adrenal insufficiency and T-box pituitary restricted transcription factor (TBX19) mutations are responsible for two-thirds of the neonatal onset form of the disease. IAD presents with hypoglycemia and prolonged jaundice in the neonatal period. TBX19 is important for both pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) gene transcription and differentiation of POMC-expressing cells. We describe 2 patients, 1 with a reported and 1 with a novel TBX19 mutation, and present information about the long-term follow-up of these patients. Case Presentation: Both patients had critical illnesses, recurrent hypoglycemia, convulsions, and neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. They also had low cortisol and ACTH levels, while other pituitary hormones were within the normal range. Pituitary imaging was normal. After hydrocortisone treatment, there was resolution of the hypoglycemia and the convulsions were controlled. Genetic studies of the patients revealed both had inherited a homozygous mutation of the TBX19 gene. The first patient had an alteration of NM_005149.3:c.856C>T (p.R286*) and the second patient had a novel NM_005149.3:c.584C>T (p.T195I) mutation, analyzed by next-generation sequencing. The noteworthy findings of the patients at follow-up were: short stature, microcephaly, and decreased pubic hair in the first, and dysmorphic features, Chiari type 1 malformation, tall stature, and low bone mineral density (BMD) in the second. Conclusion: Congenital IAD can be life-threatening if it is not recognized and treated early. TBX19 mutations should be considered in the differential diagnosis of IAD. Further cases or functional analyses are needed for genotype-phenotype correlations. Low BMD, dysmorphic features, Chiari type 1 malformation, and sparse pubic hair are some of the important features in these patients.
Introduction: Short stature homeobox-containing gene (SHOX) haploinsufficiency is associated with short stature, Madelung deformity and mesomelia. Current clinical screening tools are based on patients with intragenic variants or deletions. However, recent discoveries showed that deletions of the enhancer elements are quite common. The majority of these patients show less body disproportion and respond better to recombinant human growth hormone treatment. We redefined clinical criteria for genetic analysis to facilitate detection of the full spectrum of SHOX haploinsufficiency. Methods: We analyzed 51 children with SHOX variants or deletions and 25 children with a deletion in its enhancer region. Data were compared to 277 children referred for suspicion of growth failure without endocrine or genetic pathology. Results: Only half of the patients with an enhancer region deletion fulfilled any of the current screening criteria. We propose new clinical criteria based on sitting height to height ratio >1 SDS or arm span ≥3 cm below height, with a sensitivity of 99%. When these criteria are combined with obligatory short stature, the sensitivity to detect SHOX haploinsufficiency is 68.1%, the specificity 80.6%, and the number needed to screen 21 patients. Conclusion: Novel clinical criteria for screening for SHOX haploinsufficiency allow the detection of patients within the full genetic spectrum, that is, intragenic variants and enhancer region deletions.
Objective: To assess whether the presence of high DHEAS (HD) at 7 years determines different timing, sequence, and rate of pubertal events, and whether it is associated with adrenal and/or ovarian hyperandrogenism and changes in ovarian morphology throughout puberty. Methods: In a longitudinal study of 504 girls, clinical evaluation was performed every 6 months after 7 years of age to detect Tanner stages; hormonal and anthropometric measurements were conducted at thelarche (B2), breast Tanner 4 (B4), and 1 year after menarche; ultrasonographic evaluation was also performed after menarche. The girls were classified as HD if their DHEAS level was >42.1 µg/dL (>75th percentile) around 7 years. Results: HD around 7 years is associated with a younger age at thelarche, pubarche, and menarche. Girls with HD had higher androstenedione and total testosterone levels, and a higher free androgen index (FAI), and lower levels of antimüllerian hormone (AMH) at B2, and higher levels of androstenedione and FAI at B4 and after menarche. All these results were significant even after adjusting for body mass index, age at first DHEAS determination, and birth weight. One year after menarche, polycystic ovarian morphology was detected in 7.6 and 7.3% of the HD and the normal DHEAS group, respectively. Ovarian volume was correlated with AMH, testosterone, androstenedione, and LH but not with DHEAS around 7 years. Conclusion: Prepubertal HD in normal girls was associated with earlier thelarche, pubarche, and menarche, and a mild androgen increase throughout puberty. We believe continuous follow-up of this cohort is important to prospectively address the interrelationships between biochemical adrenarche and early growth as determinants of ovarian function.
McCune-Albright syndrome (MAS) is a rare, mosaic disorder presenting along a broad clinical spectrum. Disease arises from somatic-activating GNAS mutations, leading to constitutive Gαs activation and ligand-independent signaling of the Gαs-coupled protein receptor. The phenotype is largely determined by location and extent of tissues in which the GNAS mutation is expressed, as well as the pathophysiologic effects of Gαs activation within these tissues. Patients present clinically with a variable combination of fibrous dysplasia of bone (FD), café-au-lait skin macules, and hyperfunctioning endocrinopathies. In bone, Gαs leads to impaired differentiation of skeletal stem cells and formation of discrete, expansile FD lesions, resulting in fractures, pain, and functional impairment. A systematic approach to diagnosis and management is critically important to optimize outcomes for patients with FD/MAS. There are no medical therapies capable of altering the disease course in FD; however, screening and treatment for endocrinopathies can mitigate some skeletal morbidities. This review summarizes current understanding of MAS pathophysiology, describes the spectrum of clinical features, and includes a detailed discussion of the recommended approach to diagnosis and management.
Introduction: Although growth hormone (GH) is essential for attainment of peak bone mass, bone health in prepubertal children with GH deficiency is not routinely evaluated. The objective of this study was to evaluate bone microarchitecture in GH-deficient (GHD) boys using high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT). Methods: Fifteen control and fifteen GHD, GH naïve pre-pubertal boys were recruited for a case-control study at a major academic center. Subjects with panhypopituitarism, chromosomal pathology, chronic steroids, or stimulant use were excluded. Volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD; total, cortical, and trabecular), bone geometry (total, cortical and trabecular cross-sectional area, cortical perimeter), bone microarchitecture, and estimated bone strength of the distal radius and tibia were assessed by HR-pQCT. Areal BMD and body composition were assessed by DXA. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), osteocalcin, C telopeptide, and P1NP levels were measured. Results: GHD subjects had a signiﬁcantly smaller cortical perimeter of the distal radius compared to controls (p < 0.001), with the difference in cortical perimeter persisting after adjusting for height z score, age, lean mass, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D level (p < 0.05).No significant differences were found in vBMD. No significant differences were found in microarchitecture, estimated strength, areal BMD, body composition, or bone turnover markers. Analysis showed significant positive correlations between IGF-1 levels and cortical parameters. Discussion/Conclusions: Prepubertal GHD boys had deficits in bone geometry not evident with DXA. Larger prospective/longitudinal HR-pQCT studies are needed to determine the extent of these deficits, the need for routine bone evaluation, and the timing of GH replacement for prevention or restoration of these deficits.
Background: The relatively common co-occurrence of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and celiac disease (CD) suggests these disorders share common pathogenic etiologies. Summary: T1D and CD are strongly linked to closely related high-risk human lymphocyte antigens (HLA-DR-DQ). High-risk HLA molecules bind specific fragments of gluten or the islet self-antigen(s) and present these antigens to antigen-responsive T cells. In an appropriate proinflammatory environment, the autoimmune response results in destruction of the intestinal enterocyte and/or the pancreatic beta cell. Environmental factors have been implicated in the etiology of T1D and CD because (1) identical twins are only partially concordant for these disorders and (2) incidence rates of T1D and CD have been steadily rising for decades. Prospective studies in infants genetically predisposed to T1D and CD showed that antibody positivity to both disorders begins in the first 1–3 years of life. Viral infections and early exposure to gluten or cow’s milk in the infant diet have been implicated in disease pathogenesis. However, delaying introduction of gluten in the infant diet until 12 months of age had no impact on the development of islet or celiac autoimmunity. Weaning nursing infants to hydrolyzed infant formula had no impact on the development of T1D. Viral infections have been suspected of playing a role in T1D pathogenesis for decades. A large international prospective study (TEDDY) has shown increased risk of T1D autoimmunity particularly when >5 respiratory infections or febrile infections have occurred in the 9 months preceding the appearance of islet antibodies. Provocative data in animal models of T1D suggest the microbiome may play an important role in the pathogenesis of T1D. Breastfeeding, diet, infections, antibiotics, and method of birth alter the composition of the microbiome. Human data indicate subtle differences in the microbiome of children with T1D autoimmunity, while intestinal dysbiosis has been clearly demonstrated in CD. Alterations of the integrity of the intestinal mucosa plays an important role in the pathogenesis of CD, and the NOD mouse model suggests an important role of a leaky intestinal epithelium in T1D as well. Key Message: Immunogenetics and the environment are closely interrelated in the pathogenesis of T1D and CD. Large well-designed prospective studies in at-risk populations informed by scientifically rigorous studies in animal models are likely to have the greatest impact on our understanding of the complex pathogenesis of these detrimental autoimmune disorders.
Introduction: Minocycline, a member of the tetracycline class of antibiotics, has been associated with benign thyroid pigmentation but reports of thyroid dysfunction are sparse. Methods: Cases were selected via an inquiry of the electronic medical records for patients with thyroid dysfunction and the use of a tetracycline antibiotic. Non-autoimmune thyroiditis was defined as abnormally low or suppressed thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH, <0.3 µIU/mL), elevated free thyroxine or total thyroxine, and undetectable antithyroid antibodies. Results: Nine cases of thyroiditis without autoimmunity were identified out of 423 reviewed patients. Cases of thyroiditis occurred in adolescents ages 14–17 years who had been taking minocycline for 6 months to 4 years. In all cases, minocycline was prescribed for the treatment of acne. Four of the 9 received treatment for thyrotoxicosis with a β-blocker (in 3 cases) and/or antithyroid drug (in 2 cases). Thyroiditis was symptomatic in all but one individual who presented with painless goiter. All thyroiditis was transient and resolved after a median of 4.5 months (range 2–5 months). In one case, thyroiditis was followed by transient hypothyroidism. Discussion: Minocycline is known to cause thyroid abnormalities, although it has not been definitively linked to thyroid dysfunction. Here, we report 9 cases of non-autoimmune thyroiditis in adolescents receiving minocycline for acne. We recommend that minocycline exposure be considered in the differential diagnosis for thyroiditis and that patients receiving minocycline be counseled regarding the risk of thyroid dysfunction.
Objective: Most children with endocrine diseases require long-term continuity of care. We investigated the prevalence of loss to follow-up (LTFU) in pediatric patients with chronic endocrine diseases and the risk factors associated with LTFU. Methods: This observational cohort study included all children with chronic endocrine diseases included in the database of a single academic pediatric care center over a period of 8 years. LTFU was defined as a lack of attendance at clinical visits for over 2 years, for unknown reasons. Results: LTFU was recorded for 154 of the 1,067 patients included (14%). Median age at diagnosis was 5.8 (0.3–11.8) vs. 1.2 (0.0–6.9) years, and age at last visit was 14.1 (9.7–16.1) vs. 11.7 (6.1–15.8) years, for the LTFU and no-LTFU groups, respectively. In multivariate analysis, the risk of LTFU increased with age at diagnosis (OR 1.18; 95% CI 1.12–1.24) and was higher for patients diagnosed before 2006 (vs. after 2006; OR 4.80; 95% CI 3.00–7.66), with fewer visits in the last 3 years (OR 0.72; 95% CI 0.65–0.80; p < 0.0001) and a lower health insurance classification (OR 1.79; 95% CI 1.10–2.89; p = 0.02). The risk of LTFU was higher for patients with isolated growth hormone deficiency than for those with other endocrine conditions, such as multiple pituitary deficiencies, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, Turner syndrome, or thyroid, adrenal, or gonadal disorders (OR 5.24; 95% CI 1.13–24.37; p = 0.03). Conclusion: This study provides the first epidemiological data for LTFU in children and adolescents with chronic endocrine diseases. It should facilitate the targeting of interventions to improve adherence to medical care and healthcare organization during the pediatric period.
Background: In adolescents, testosterone may have several effects including promotion of secondary sexual characteristics and pubertal growth, attainment of optimal muscle mass and peak bone mass, optimization of the metabolic profile, and psychosocial maturation and well-being. Summary: Testosterone therapy is a cornerstone of the management of hypogonadism in boys. Since the initial report of the chemical synthesis of testosterone, several formulations have continued to develop, and although many of these have been used in boys, none of them have been studied in detail in this age group. Given the wide ranging effects of testosterone, the level of evidence for their effects in boys and the heterogeneity of conditions that lead to early-onset hypogonadism, a standardized protocol for monitoring testosterone replacement in this age group is needed. Key Messages: In this review, we focus on the perceived benefits of androgen replacement in boys affected by pubertal delay and highlight the need to improve the health monitoring of boys who receive androgen replacement therapy, proposing different approaches based on the underlying pathophysiology.
Short stature is one of the most common reasons for referral to a pediatric endocrinologist and can result from many etiologies. However, many patients with short stature do not receive a definitive diagnosis. Objective: To ascertain whether integrating targeted bioinformatics searches of electronic health records (EHRs) combined with genomic studies could identify patients with previously undiagnosed rare genetic etiologies of short stature. We focused on a specific rare phenotypic subgroup: patients with short stature and elevated IGF-I levels. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional cohort study at three large academic pediatric healthcare networks. Eligible subjects included children with heights below –2 SD, IGF-I levels >90th percentile, and no known etiology for short stature. We performed a search of the EHRs to identify eligible patients. Patients were then recruited for phenotyping followed by exome sequencing and in vitro assays of IGF1R function. Results: A total of 234 patients were identified by the bioinformatics algorithm with 39 deemed eligible after manual review (17%). Of those, 9 were successfully recruited. A genetic etiology was identified in 3 of the 9 patients including 2 novel variants in IGF1R and a de novo variant in CHD2. In vitro studies supported the pathogenicity of the IGF1R variants. Conclusions: This study provides proof of principle that patients with rare phenotypic subgroups can be identified based on discrete data elements in the EHRs. Although limitations exist to fully automating this approach, these searches may help find patients with previously unidentified rare genetic disorders.
Testicular adrenal rest tumors (TART) are a known consequence for males with classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency. TART are associated with potential infertility in adults. However, little is known about TART in very young males with CAH. Objective: We assessed the presence of TART in newborn, infant, and toddler males with classical CAH via scrotal ultrasound. Methods: Males with CAH had scrotal ultrasounds during the first 4 years of life, evaluating testes for morphology, blood flow, and presence of TART. Newborn screen 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) and serum 17-OHP at the time of ultrasound were recorded. Bone ages were considered very advanced if ≥2 SD above chronological age. Results: Thirty-one ultrasounds in 16 males were performed. An initial ultrasound was obtained in four newborns at diagnosis (6.8 ± 2.1 days), six infants (2.2 ± 0.9 months), and six toddlers (2.4 ± 0.9 years). Eleven males had at least one repeat ultrasound. A large proportion (11/16) were in poor hormonal control with an elevated 17-OHP (325 ± 298 nmol/L). One infant was in very poor hormonal control (17-OHP 447 nmol/L) at initial ultrasound, and two toddlers had advanced bone ages (+3.2 and +4.5 SD) representing exposure to postnatal androgens. However, no TART were detected in any subjects. Conclusions: TART were not found by scrotal ultrasound in males up to 4 years of age with classical CAH despite settings with expected high ACTH drive. Further research into the occurrence of TART in CAH may elucidate factors that contribute to the detection and individual predisposition to TART.
Girls with Turner syndrome (TS) have a high incidence of primary ovarian insufficiency. Recent data show rates of spontaneous thelarche (ST) of 38% and spontaneous menarche (SM) of 15–16%, with higher rates in those with mosaicism. Summary: We systematically reviewed the literature for evidence regarding rates of ST and SM in TS and evaluated rates based on the type of chromosomal mosaicism. We searched MEDLINE via PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Database of Controlled Trials. Reference lists were screened. Studies reporting outcomes of ST and SM in girls with TS, diagnosed by genetic analysis, were included. Data was collected regarding study design, cohort type, cohort age, the number of participants with ST and SM, the individual age at diagnosis of ST and SM, the mean age of patients with ST and SM, sample size, the number of participants with secondary amenorrhea, and karyotype. Key Messages: In total 2,699 patients were assessed for ST and 2,890 for SM from 43 articles. Overall the rates of ST were 32% (95% CI 26.4–38.9) and SM 20.8% (95% CI 19.3–22.4). Girls with X monosomy had the lowest rates of ST (i.e., 13%; 95% CI 8.7–19.7) and SM (i.e., 9.1%; 95% CI 7.3–11.3). Girls with 45,X/47,XXX had the highest rates of ST (i.e., 88.1%; 95% CI 62–97.1) and SM (i.e., 66.2%; 95% CI 49.3–79.6). Conclusions: Rates of ST and SM differ by karyotype in TS. When counseling patients, the karyotype should strongly influence discussions regarding pubertal development and the future reproductive potential.
Thyroid hormones (TSH) play a key role in the working of the cardiovascular system, with direct effects on cardiac function, vascular system, and atherosclerotic factors. Epicardial adipose tissue, the visceral fat of the heart, has emerged as a new cardiometabolic risk marker because of its close anatomical proximity to the myocardium and coronary artery. This study aimed to evaluate epicardial fat thickness (EFT) in children with subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) and its relation to early atherosclerotic changes. Methods: The study included 32 children with SH due to autoimmune thyroiditis and 32 healthy children matched for age and gender as control group. Patients and controls underwent anthropometric evaluation and measurement of fasting lipids, glucose, insulin, homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). TSH, free thyroxine (FT4 and FT3) and antithyroid autoantibodies (antithyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies) were also measured. Conventional echocardiography was used to assess EFT. Noninvasive ultrasound was used to measure carotid intima-media thickness and brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) responses. Results: Compared to controls, patients had higher atherogenic index (AI) and hs-CRP (p = 0.001 for each). Conventional echocardiography revealed that patients with SH had higher EFT (p = 01) and significantly lower FMD response compared with the control (p = 0.001). In multivariate analysis, EFT values were significantly correlated with TSH (OR 1.2; 95% CI 1.04–1.34; p = 0.01), hs-CRP (OR 1.1; 95% CI 1.09–1.14; p = 0.001, AI (OR 1.6; 95% CI 1.17–2.03; p = 0.001), and FMD response (OR 2.4; 95% CI 1.14–2.53; p = 0.01). Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that EFT is higher in children with SH compared with controls and associated with FMD responses. Measurement of EFT by echocardiography in children with SH may help to identify those at high risk of developing subclinical atherosclerosis.
Idiopathic short stature (ISS) comprises a wide range of conditions associated with short stature that elude the conventional diagnostic work-up and are often caused by still largely unknown genetic variants. In the last decade, the improvement of diagnostic techniques has led to the discovery of causal mutations in genes involved in the function of the growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) axis as well as in growth plate physiology. However, many cases of ISS remain idiopathic. In the future, the more frequent identification of the underlying causes will allow a better stratification of subjects and offer a tailored management. GH therapy has been proposed and approved in some countries for the treatment of children with ISS. To improve the efficacy of GH therapy, trials with GH combined with GnRH agonists, aromatase inhibitors, and even IGF-I have been conducted. This review aims to revise the current definition of ISS and discuss the management of children with ISS on the basis of the most recent evidence.
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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 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/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.
We read David Allen’s excellent mini review entitled “Growth Promotion Ethics and the Challenge to Resist Cosmetic Endocrinology” with great interest . 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....
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.
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.
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.