We measured plasma estradiol levels and ovarian volumes in eight girls with precocious puberty due to McCune-Albright syndrome. Six girls had gonadotropin-independent ovarian estrogen secretion and two girls had pubertal gonadotropin levels. Mean ovarian volume in all patients was significantly greater than in normal prepubertal girls. Mean ovarian volumes of the girls with McCune-Albright syndrome overlapped the range found in girls with idiopathic central precocious puberty or central precocious puberty associated with central nervous system lesions. However, the degree of asymmetry between the right and left ovaries was significantly greater in girls with McCune-Albright syndrome. Asymmetry was due, for the most part, to the presence of large solitary cysts in the larger of the two ovaries. In the six girls with McCune-Albright syndrome and gonadotropin-independent precocious puberty, both mean ovarian volume and the degree of asymmetry between the right and left ovaries were significantly correlated with plasma estradiol. Serum follicle-stimulating hormone bioactivity was increased in two patients but did not vary with ovarian cyst size. Thyroid-stimulating hormone levels were normal but serum prolactin was slightly elevated in one of the six girls with gonadotropin-independent precocious puberty. Fluctuation in the size of unilateral ovarian cysts appears to result in changes in the plasma estradiol level, leading to advancement and spontaneous regression of secondary sexual characteristics and menses in girls with McCune-Albright syndrome. The cause of the cyst formation is unknown but may be related to periodic elevation of as yet undefined serum factors such as follicle-stimulating hormone bioactive substances.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health