OBJECTIVE. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that hypothalamic hamartoma causes pre cocious puberty through a different neuroendocrine mechanism than that of normal puberty or of idiopathic precocious puberty. DESIGN AND PATIENTS We compared the pattern of gonadotrophin secretion among 4 girls with precocious puberty due to hypothalamic hamartoma, 27 girls with idiopathic precocious puberty, and 14 girls with normal puberty. All subjects were breast stage 3 or 4. Blood samples were obtained every 20 min for 4 h during the day (1.000 hours to 1400 h) and night (22.00 hours to 0200 h). MEASUREMENTS. LH, FSH, and prolactin were measured in each blood sample. Girls also underwent LHRH- stimulation with measurement of LH and FSH before and after stimulation. RESULTS. There were no significant differences in mean LH level, LH peak amplitude, or LH or FSH peak frequency during either the day or the night among the three diagnostic groups. However, the mean ± SD LHRH-stimulated peak LH levels were greater in girls with hypothalamic hamartoma than in girls with normal puberty or with idiopathic precocious puberty (194 ± 142 vs 85 ± 60 or 66 ± 54 IU/I, respectively, P< 0.05). The LHRH-stimulated peak FSH level in girls with hypothalamic hamartoma exceeded the level for the normal pubertal girls (31 ± 19 vs 17 ± 7 IU/I, P< 0.05), but not the level for the girls with idiopathic precocious puberty (25 + 12 IU/l). The peak LH to peak FSH ratio in the girls with hypothalamic hamartoma exceeded the ratio for the girls with idiopathic precocious puberty (7.3 ± 3.9 vs 2.6 ± 3.0 IU/I, P< 0.05), but not the ratio for the normal pubertal girls (5.0+2.9). There were no significant differences in mean prolactin level, peak amplitude or frequency, or in the ratio of mean night to mean day prolactin, among the 3 diagnostic groups. CONCLUSIONS We conclude that spontaneous gonadotrophin and prolactin secretion are similar among girls with hypothalamic hamartoma, idiopathic precocious puberty, or normal puberty. However, the increased LHRH-stimulated peak LH in the girls with hypothalamic hamartoma suggests subtle differences in neuroendocrine regulation that may underlie their more rapid pubertal maturation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism