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      Random unstimulated pediatric luteinizing hormone levels are not reliable in the assessment of pubertal suppression during histrelin implant therapy

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          Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa)-stimulated luteinizing hormone (LH) is the standard hormonal assessment for both diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of children with central precocious puberty (CPP). Use of unstimulated (random) LH levels may be helpful in diagnosis and has gained popularity in monitoring GnRHa therapy despite lack of validation against stimulated values. The objective of this investigation was to assess the suitability of random LH for monitoring pubertal suppression during GnRHa treatment.


          Data from a multi-year, multicenter, open-label trial of annual histrelin implants for CPP was used for our analysis. Children meeting clinical and hormonal criteria for CPP, either naïve to GnRHa therapy or previously treated with another GnRHa for at least 6 months who were being treated at academic pediatric centers were included in the study. Subjects received a single 50-mg subcutaneous histrelin implant annually until final explant at an age determined at the discretion of each investigator. Monitoring visits for physical examination and GnRHa-stimulation testing were performed at regular intervals. The main outcome measure was pubertal suppression during treatment defined by peak LH < 4 mIU/mL after GnRHa stimulation.


          During histrelin treatment, 36 children underwent a total of 308 monitoring GnRHa stimulation tests. Unstimulated and peak LH levels were positively correlated (r = 0.798), and both declined from the first to second year of treatment. Mean ± SD peak LH level during therapy was 0.62 ± 0.43 mIU/mL (range, 0.06–2.3), well below the normal prepubertal mean. Mean random LH was 0.35 ± 0.25 mIU/mL (range, 0.04–1.5), 10-fold higher than the normal prepubertal mean. The random LH levels were above the prepubertal upper threshold (<0.3 mIU/mL) in 48.4% of all tests and in 88.9% of subjects at some point during therapy.


          In contrast with GnRHa-stimulated LH, unstimulated LH values frequently fail to demonstrate suppression to prepubertal values during GnRHa therapy for CPP, despite otherwise apparent pubertal suppression, and are thus unsuitable for therapeutic monitoring.

          Trial registration

          ClinicalTrial.gov NCT00779103.

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          Most cited references 22

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          A single luteinizing hormone determination 2 hours after depot leuprolide is useful for therapy monitoring of gonadotropin-dependent precocious puberty in girls.

          Long-acting GnRH analogs represent the standard treatment for gonadotropin-dependent precocious puberty. The aim of this study was to determine the hormonal parameters for monitoring the adequacy of depot leuprolide acetate treatment in girls with clinical and hormonal diagnosis of gonadotropin-dependent precocious puberty. Eighteen girls were treated monthly with 3.75 mg depot leuprolide acetate. Adequate hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis suppression during treatment was achieved in 16 of the 18 girls according to the clinical parameters and prepubertal LH levels. In these 16 well-controlled girls, the LH peak after a classical GnRH test was compared with a single LH measurement obtained 2 h after depot leuprolide acetate administration before and during GnRH analog treatment. Before therapy, the mean +/- sd LH peak after a classical GnRH test was 18.4 +/- 11.2 IU/liter (ranging from 7-41.5 IU/liter), and it was 22.6 +/- 8.3 IU/liter 2 h after the first depot leuprolide dose (ranging from 10-35.3 IU/liter). During therapy, the mean +/- sd of LH peak after classical GnRH test was 1.4 +/- 0.6 IU/liter (ranging from <0.6 to 2.3 IU/liter), and it was 2.7 +/- 1.9 IU/liter (ranging from 0.7-6.6 IU/liter) 2 h after depot leuprolide. The LH peak after a classical GnRH test and that 2 h after depot leuprolide administration correlate significantly before and during treatment. In conclusion, we established the LH cut-off values for an adequate depot leuprolide therapy as an LH peak below 2.3 IU/liter after a classical GnRH test or below 6.6 IU/liter 2 h after depot leuprolide. The latter measurement may replace the classical GnRH test as a reliable and convenient tool for monitoring therapy in female gonadotropin-dependent precocious puberty.
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            Serum luteinizing hormone rises within minutes after depot leuprolide injection: implications for monitoring therapy.

            To find the time of the serum gonadotropin peak after depot leuprolide injection in children and to show that depot leuprolide therapy can be monitored by measuring serum luteinizing hormone (LH) immediately after injections. We measured concentrations of leuprolide, LH, and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) at multiple time points before and after the first dose of depot leuprolide in 14 pubertal children beginning therapy. Gonadotropins and sex steroids were measured again after the fourth dose. Serum leuprolide, LH, and FSH levels rose rapidly after initial injection, reaching sustained elevations at 30 to 120 minutes. The median LH level increased from 2.1 mIU/mL at baseline to a peak of 27.5 mIU/mL at 45 minutes, and FSH increased from 5.2 to 16.5 mIU/mL. After 3 months on therapy, median serum LH after depot leuprolide injection was only 0.83 mIU/mL, similar to levels observed after intravenous or subcutaneous gonadotropin-releasing hormone stimulation in comparable subjects on depot leuprolide. Our pharmacokinetic data demonstrate that free leuprolide present in a depot leuprolide injection is equivalent to gonadotropin-releasing hormone in stimulating a rapid rise in serum gonadotropin concentrations. We propose that a single serum sample for LH obtained 30 to 60 minutes after depot leuprolide injection in children provides a convenient and accurate assessment of treatment efficacy.
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              Efficacy and safety of leuprolide acetate 3-month depot 11.25 milligrams or 30 milligrams for the treatment of central precocious puberty.

              GnRH agonist (GnRHa) monthly injections are frequently used in the treatment of central precocious puberty (CPP). The 3-month leuprolide depot 11.25- and 30-mg formulations are newly approved treatment options. The aim of the study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of leuprolide acetate 3-month depot formulations for the treatment of CPP in children. This was a phase III, randomized, open-label, dose-ranging 6-month study. Twenty-two U.S. medical centers (including Puerto Rico) participated. Children diagnosed with CPP (n = 84), who were either treatment naive or previously treated with GnRHa, were recruited. Chronological age at onset of pubertal signs was less than 8 yr in girls and less than 9 yr in boys, and bone age was advanced over chronological age at least 1 yr. Leuprolide acetate depot (11.25 or 30 mg) was administered im every 3 months. Biochemical [peak-stimulated LH, estradiol (girls), and testosterone (boys)] and anthropometric (growth rate, bone age acceleration, pubertal progression) parameters and safety were assessed. Peak-stimulated LH was suppressed in the 11.25- and 30-mg dose groups in 78.4 and 95.2%, respectively, of children from months 2 through 6. There were nine treatment failures (peak-stimulated LH >4 IU/liter) in the 11.25-mg group and two in the 30-mg group. Basal sex steroid suppression, growth rates, pubertal progression, bone age advancement, and adverse events were similar with either dose. Treatment with leuprolide acetate 3-month depot formulations (11.25 and 30 mg) effectively suppressed the GnRH axis, was well tolerated, and may positively impact patient convenience and compliance.

                Author and article information

                Int J Pediatr Endocrinol
                Int J Pediatr Endocrinol
                International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology
                BioMed Central
                2 December 2013
                : 2013
                : 1
                : 20
                [1 ]Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
                [2 ]Pediatric Endocrinology, Goryeb Children’s Hospital, Atlantic Health System, Morristown, New Jersey, USA
                [3 ]Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, and The Saban Research Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
                [4 ]Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., Malvern, Pennsylvania, USA
                [5 ]Department of Endocrinology, Cook Children’s Medical Center, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
                Copyright © 2013 Neely et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



                central precocious puberty, estradiol, gnrha, histrelin, luteinizing hormone


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