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      Endocrinology of Small-for-Gestational-Age Children: Recent Advances

      Hormone Research in Paediatrics

      S. Karger AG

      Growth hormone, Adrenarche, Polycystic ovary syndrome, Hyperandrogenism

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          Abstract

          Over recent months, the links between prenatal growth restraint and postnatal endocrinology and metabolism have been strengthened and their spectrum has been broadened. Recent progress has come from complementary angles, including the following: (1) Small for gestational age (SGA) and the human genetics of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and its receptor: (a) IGF-I receptor mutations [<citeref rid="ref001">1</citeref>]; (b) single copy of IGF-I receptor gene [<citeref rid="ref002">2</citeref>]; (c) IGF-I gene polymorphisms [<citeref rid="ref003">3</citeref>]. (2) Adrenarche and polycystic ovary syndrome: (a) prenatal and postnatal weight gain: opposite effects on adrenarche in girls and boys [<citeref rid="ref004">4</citeref>]; (b) metformin therapy in low-birth-weight girls to prevent progression from precocious pubarche to polycystic ovary syndrome [<citeref rid="ref005">5</citeref>]. (3) Gynecological and pregnancy complications in women born SGA: (a) hypergonadotropinaemia and small uterus-ovaries [<citeref rid="ref006">6</citeref>]; (b) identification of low maternal birth weight as a risk factor for: (i) gestational diabetes, (ii) pregnancy-induced hypertension (with SGA offspring) [<citeref rid="ref007">7</citeref>, <citeref rid="ref008">8</citeref>]. (4) Growth hormone (GH) therapy for short children born SGA: (a) efficacy of long-term, continuous GH therapy [<citeref rid="ref009">9</citeref>]; (b) normal puberty in short GH-treated SGA children [<citeref rid="ref010">10</citeref>]. Our knowledge of SGA and post-SGA endocrinology and metabolism continues to expand swiftly. Children born SGA may continue to experience SGA consequences or correlates, and SGA adults may confer intergenerational SGA risk. Given the dynamics of this research frontier, it is anticipated that multiple facets of GH therapy in short SGA children will regularly be challenged in the future. May those questions be welcomed and may their responses ultimately lead to optimal GH regimens that benefit not only SGA children themselves but also, in due course, their progeny.

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          Most cited references 6

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          Adult height after long-term, continuous growth hormone (GH) treatment in short children born small for gestational age: results of a randomized, double-blind, dose-response GH trial.

          The GH dose-response effect of long-term continuous GH treatment on adult height (AH) was evaluated in 54 short children born small for gestational age (SGA) who were participating in a randomized, double-blind, dose-response trial. Patients were randomly and blindly assigned to treatment with either 3 IU (group A) or 6 IU (group B) GH/m(2).d ( approximately 0.033 or 0.067 mg/kg.d, respectively). The mean (+/-SD) birth length was -3.6 (1.4), the age at the start of the study was 8.1 (1.9) yr, and the height SD score (SDS) at the start of the study -3.0 (0.7). Seventeen of the 54 children were partially GH deficient (stimulated GH peak, 10-20 mU/liter). Fifteen non-GH-treated, non-GH-deficient, short children born SGA, with similar inclusion criteria, served as controls [mean (+/-SD) birth length, -3.3 (1.2); age at start, 7.8 (1.7) yr; height SDS at start, -2.6 (0.5)]. GH treatment resulted in an AH above -2 SDS in 85% of the children after a mean (+/-SD) GH treatment period of 7.8 (1.7) yr. The mean (SD) AH SDS was -1.1 (0.7) for group A and -0.9 (0.8) for group B, resulting from a mean (+/-SD) gain in height SDS of 1.8 (0.7) for group A and 2.1 (0.8) for group B. No significant differences between groups A and B were found for AH SDS (mean difference, 0.3 SDS; 95% confidence interval, -0.2, 0.6; P > 0.2) and gain in height SDS (mean difference, 0.3 SDS; 95% confidence interval, -0.1, 0.7; P > 0.1). When corrected for target height, the mean corrected AH SDS was -0.2 (0.8) for group A and -0.4 (0.9) for group B. The mean (+/-SD) AH SDS of the control group [-2.3 (0.7)] was significantly lower than that of the GH-treated group (P < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis indicated the following predictive variables for AH SDS: target height SDS, height SDS, and chronological age minus bone age (years) at the start of the study. GH dose had no significant effect. In conclusion, long-term continuous GH treatment in short children born SGA without signs of persistent catch-up growth leads to a normalization of AH, even with a GH dose of 3 IU/m(2).d ( approximately 0.033 mg/kg.d).
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            Cell proliferation activities on skin fibroblasts from a short child with absence of one copy of the type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF1R) gene and a tall child with three copies of the IGF1R gene.

            The type 1 IGF receptor (IGF1R) is required for normal embryonic and postnatal growth. The aim of this study was to determine whether we could detect abnormal IGF1R function in skin fibroblasts from children with an abnormal copy number of the IGF1R gene. We report two children with altered copy number of the IGF1R gene who presented with abnormal growth. Case 1 is a girl with intrauterine growth retardation, postnatal growth failure, and recurrent hypoglycemia. Pituitary function tests were normal. Routine karyotype analysis identified a deletion on 15q26.2, and a fluorescence in situ hybridization study using IGF1R probes showed only a single IGF1R gene. Case 2 was large for gestational age, with birth weight and length at or above 97th percentile, and showed rapid early postnatal growth. He was found to have a recombinant chromosome 15 containing a partial duplication at 15q (q25-qter). A fluorescence in situ hybridization study using the same probes showed three copies of the IGF1R gene. In a mitochondrial activity assay, skin fibroblasts from the subject with only one copy of IGF1R showed slower growth, whereas cells from the subject with three copies of IGF1R showed accelerated growth compared with controls. IGF1R phosphorylation, as assessed by Western blot, and IGF1R binding studies were decreased compared with controls in the child with one copy of the IGF1R and increased in the child with three copies of the gene. Our data are consistent with the concept that IGF1R gene copy number is of functional and clinical importance in humans.
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              Hypergonadotrophinaemia with reduced uterine and ovarian size in women born small-for-gestational-age.

              Fetal growth restraint has been associated with FSH hypersecretion in early infancy and in early post-menarche, and with reduced uterine and ovarian size in adolescence. It is unknown whether these reproductive anomalies persist, respectively, into late infancy and into the reproductive age range. We report follow-up findings in two age groups of girls. A cohort of infants [n=26; n=10 born appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) and n=16 born small-for-gestational-age (SGA)], who had been studied at the age of approximately 4 months, was assessed again at the age of 12 months. A cohort of teenagers (n=28), who had been studied at the age of approximately 14 years, was assessed again at the age of approximately 18 years; this group was complemented by a transversal cohort of similar age (n=19) for a total of 47 young women (n=27 AGA; n=20 SGA). In infants, only serum FSH was measured; adolescents underwent endocrine-metabolic screening, ultrasound assessment of uterine-ovarian size, and evaluation of body composition by dual X-ray absorptiometry. Serum FSH levels were higher in SGA than AGA infant girls at 4 and 12 months, and higher in SGA than AGA adolescents at 14 and 18 years (all P<0.01). Longitudinal ultrasound assessments disclosed a late-adolescent increment of uterine size that was less obvious in SGA than AGA girls. In contrast, ovarian volume remained stable in both subgroups. Compilation of longitudinal and transversal results at 18 years of age corroborated the persistent reduction in the uterine size of SGA girls (by approximately 20%; P<0.005) and in their ovarian volume (by approximately 40%; P<0.0001); moreover, SGA girls displayed not only a persistent elevation of FSH (by approximately 50%; P<0.001), but also a rise of LH and fasting insulin, as well as an excess of abdominal fat (all P<0.01). The gynaecology of young women born SGA was found to be characterized by hypergonadotrophinaemia and by a reduced uterine and ovarian size.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                HRE
                Horm Res Paediatr
                10.1159/issn.1663-2818
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                978-3-8055-7833-2
                978-3-318-01154-8
                1663-2818
                1663-2826
                2004
                October 2004
                17 November 2004
                : 62
                : Suppl 3
                : 141-142
                Affiliations
                Department of Paediatrics, University of Leuven, Belgium
                Article
                80516 Horm Res 2004;62(suppl 3):141–142
                10.1159/000080516
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                References: 10, Pages: 2
                Categories
                SGA Launch Symposium

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