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      Predictive Value of Serum Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Levels in the Differentiation between Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism and Constitutional Delay of Puberty

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          Objective: Gonadotropin secretion was evaluated to predict hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HH) in 36 children suspected of having HH. Methods: LH was measured for 24 h at 10-min intervals, and FSH and estradiol or testosterone at 1-hour intervals. Twenty boys (age 15.7, range 13.2–19.3 years) and 16 girls (age 16.1, range 13.0–20.6 years) were studied. Results: LH pulses were detected in 9 boys and 5 girls. HH was confirmed in all 11 LH apulsatile boys and in 8 of 11 LH apulsatile girls. Random FSH values of ≤1.11 and ≤2.86 IU/l in boys and girls, respectively, discriminated patients with LH pulses from patients without (sensitivity for lack of LH pulses 97 and 100%, respectively). In boys testicular volume was not discriminatory. In 1 girl LH pulses were observed without estradiol production, suggesting LH neurosecretory dysfunction. Conclusions: Low FSH levels in adolescence are strongly related to a lack of LH pulses. Lack of LH pulses is highly suspect for HH. FSH may be a tool in the differentiation between HH and delayed puberty.

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          Growth hormone neurosecretory dysfunction. A treatable cause of short stature.

          Pulsatile growth hormone (GH) secretion was assessed in a subgroup of short children to determine whether they had GH secretory abnormalities, and these results were compared with those of normal and GH-deficient children. This subgroup of children was defined as having GH neurosecretory dysfunction and met the following criteria: height, less than first percentile; growth velocity, 4 cm/yr or less; bone age, two or more years behind chronological age, normal findings from provocative GH tests (peak, greater than or equal to 10 ng/mL), low somatomedin-C level, and abnormal 24-hour GH secretory patterns. When compared with controls, both children with GH neurosecretory dysfunction and GH-deficient patients had a significant decrease in parameters relating to the total GH secretion during the 24-hour period. As with GH-deficient children, the group with GH neurosecretory dysfunction more than doubled their growth velocity after replacement therapy with exogenous human GH during the first year of treatment. As a result of these detailed studies on pulsatile GH secretion, we suggest that there is a spectrum of GH secretory abnormalities from absolute deficiency to an intermittent irregularity in GH secretion.

            Author and article information

            Horm Res Paediatr
            Hormone Research in Paediatrics
            S. Karger AG
            June 1998
            15 May 1998
            : 49
            : 6
            : 279-287
            Departments of a Pediatrics and b Obstetrics and Gynecology, Academic Hospital Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
            23187 Horm Res 1998;49:279–287
            © 1998 S. Karger AG, Basel

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            Figures: 2, Tables: 3, References: 28, Pages: 9
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