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      Serum Inhibin A and Inhibin B in Central Precocious Puberty before and during Treatment with GnRH Agonists

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          Serum levels of the gonadal hormones inhibin A and inhibin B are undetectable or low in prepubertal girls, and rise during puberty. In girls with central precocious puberty (CPP) the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis is prematurely activated, if the girl is thereafter treated with GnRH agonists both gonadotropins and estradiol levels become suppressed. We therefore investigated serum levels of inhibin A and inhibin B in girls with CPP at diagnosis and during treatment in order to test the hypothesis that inhibin secretion would increase and decrease in parallel with the activation and suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Serum levels of inhibin A and inhibin B were significantly (p < 0.0005) elevated in 42 girls at diagnosis of CPP (inhibin A: 7 pg/ml (<7–139), inhibin B: 80 pg/ml (<20–294) (median, range)) compared to levels in age-matched healthy schoolgirls (inhibin A: all values <7 pg/ml, inhibin B: 21 pg/ml (<20–122) (median, range)), but were appropriate for Tanner stage. During treatment with GnRH agonist (intranasal buserelin and oral cyproterone acetate, treatment group 1, n = 23, or triptorelin depot injections, treatment group 2, n = 19) levels of both hormones fell significantly (p = 0.002). There was a significantly (p = 0.003) greater fall in inhibin B levels during treatment in group 2 compared to group 1, with inhibin B levels now lying below (group 2: <20 pg/ml (<20–68)) rather than within (group 1: 34.5 pg/ml (<20–93)) the age-appropriate range. It is concluded that levels of inhibin A and inhibin B are elevated and suppressed in concert with activation and suppression of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis in girls with CPP, supporting the concept that ovarian inhibin secretion is dynamically regulated by gonadotropin stimulation.

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          Pubertal maturation of the internal genitalia: an ultrasound evaluation of 166 healthy girls.

          Pelvic ultrasound is an important tool in the management of children with disturbances of pubertal development; interpretation requires an understanding of the normal relationship between maturation of internal genitalia and the appearance of secondary sex characteristics. We performed pelvic ultrasound examinations in 166 healthy females aged 6.4-25.4 years, and related uterine and ovarian volumes and size of follicles to age and pubertal stage. We demonstrated growth of the uterus and ovaries before the appearance of breast development and pubic hair growth. In prepubertal girls, uterine and ovarian growth was related to height (p = 0.008 and p = 0.010, respectively). From breast stages 1-5, median uterine and ovarian volumes increased from 1.6 ml to 43 ml, and from 1.2 ml to 7.3 ml, respectively (p < 0.0001). Uterine growth continued several years after menarche. Postmenarcheal uterine growth was related to the number of years after menarche (p < 0.001), but not to height, weight or age. Follicles were seen in 86% of prepubertal girls and in 99% of pubertal girls. Follicles up to 8 mm in diameter were observed in prepubertal girls. Maturation of the internal genitalia begins before the onset of clinical puberty, and extends well into the second decade.

            Author and article information

            Horm Res Paediatr
            Hormone Research in Paediatrics
            S. Karger AG
            09 March 2001
            : 54
            : 2
            : 84-91
            Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
            53237 Horm Res 2000;54:84–91
            © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

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            Figures: 2, Tables: 5, References: 15, Pages: 8
            Original Paper


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