The NIH experience with precocious puberty: Diagnostic subgroups and response to short-term luteinizing hormone releasing hormone analogue therapy

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, Florence Comite, Karen Hench, Kevin Barnes, Ann McNemar, Carol Foster, Daniel Kenigsberg, D. Lynn Loriaux, Gordon B. Cutler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

152 Scopus citations

Abstract

Between 1979 and 1983, 129 children (95 girls) with precocious puberty were referred to the National Institutes of Health and received treatment for at least 6 months with the long-acting LHRH analogue d-Trp6-Pro9-NEt-LHRH. The majority (107 of 129) of the children had central precocious puberty mediated by activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in association with hypothalamic hamartomas (24 of 107) or other central nervous system lesions (21 of 107), or idiopathic precocious puberty (62 of 107). Hypothalamic hamartomas or other central nervous system lesions were a frequent cause of central precocious puberty in girls (27 of 87), but idiopathic precocious puberty was still the most frequent diagnosis (63%). Idiopathic precocious puberty was uncommon in boys (6%). The patients with peripheral precocious puberty included six girls with McCune-Albright syndrome and six boys with familial male precocious puberty. These children had peripheral sex steroid secretion in the absence of hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis maturation. The children with combined peripheral and central precocious puberty included nine children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia and one girl with a virilizing adrenal tumor. In the patients with central precocious puberty or combined peripheral and central precocious puberty, LHRHa therapy caused suppression of gonadotropin and sex steroid levels (P<0.001), stabilization or regression of secondary sexual characteristics, and decreases in growth rate and in the rate of bone age maturation (P<0.005). Patients with peripheral precocious puberty, however, had no significant change in gonadotropin or sex steroid levels, growth rate, or the rate of bone age maturation, and no improvement in secondary sexual characteristics. Thus, LHRHa is an effective treatment of central precocious puberty and combined peripheral and central precocious puberty, but is ineffective in the therapy of peripheral precocious puberty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of pediatrics
Volume108
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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