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      Puberty after Prenatal Growth Restraint

      a , b

      Hormone Research in Paediatrics

      S. Karger AG

      Pubarche, Puberty, Adrenarche, Growth hormone, Insulin, Metformin

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          Abstract

          There is increasing evidence for a link between prenatal growth and pubertal development. Here we highlight a selection of pubertal characteristics in children who were born small for gestational age (SGA). Boys born SGA are at risk of high levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and low levels of inhibin B and a small testicular volume during adolescence. In girls born SGA, the age at pubertal onset and the age at menarche are advanced by about 5–10 months; prenatal growth restraint may also be associated with higher FSH levels and smaller internal genitalia in adolescence. The ovulation rate was found to be reduced in adolescent girls born SGA, and an insulin-sensitizing therapy was capable of raising this low ovulation rate. Menarche is definitely advanced in girls born SGA with precocious pubarche and in those with an early-normal onset of puberty. Current evidence suggests that insulin resistance is a key mechanism linking a post-SGA state to early menarche; hence, insulin sensitization may become a valid approach to prevent early menarche and early growth arrest in girls born SGA.

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          Most cited references 19

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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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            Early puberty-menarche after precocious pubarche: relation to prenatal growth.

            Girls with precocious pubarche (PP; pubic hair at 0 SD), intermediate birth weight (0 to -2 SD), and lower birth weight (less than -2 SD). At the time of PP diagnosis, age, bone age, and BMI were similar across birth weight subgroups; circulating sex hormone-binding globulin and body height were reduced in PP girls with lower birth weight, and these remained so throughout pubertal development. Onset of puberty occurred earlier in PP girls with lower birth weight; so did menarche. Adult height differed by an average of 6.5 cm (approximately 1 SD) between the upper and lower birth weight subgroups; this difference was essentially achieved before puberty and even before PP. Menarche before age 12.0 years was twofold more prevalent in PP girls than in control subjects. Among PP girls, age at menarche was advanced by 8 to 10 months in lower versus higher birth weight girls. Menarche before age 12.0 years was threefold more prevalent among LBW-PP girls than in control subjects (approximately 75% vs approximately 25%). The link between prenatal growth restraint and early menarche is herewith extended to PP girls. In particular LBW-PP girls may become a target group for interventions directed toward normalization of pubertal onset and progression.
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              Early puberty: rapid progression and reduced final height in girls with low birth weight.

              To assess whether, in girls with early onset of puberty, low birth weight is a risk factor for rapid progression to menarche and for short adult stature. Longitudinal clinical assessment of 54 Catalan (Northern Spanish) girls followed from early onset of puberty (onset of breast development between 8.0 and 9.0 years of age) to final height. The timing of menarche and the final height were analyzed a posteriori according to birth weight, the cutoff level between normal and low birth weight subgroups being -1.5 standard deviation (SD; approximately 2.7 kg at term birth). Normal and low birth weight girls had similar target heights and characteristics at diagnosis of early puberty. However, menarche occurred on average 1.6 years earlier in low versus normal birth weight girls (11.3 +/-.3 years vs 12.9 +/-.2 years), and final height was >5 cm shorter in low birth weight girls (parental adjusted height SD: -.6 +/-.2 cm vs.3 +/-.2 cm). The timing of menarche and the level of final height in Catalan girls with early onset of puberty was found to depend on prenatal growth. Girls with normal birth weight tend to progress slowly through puberty with a normal timing of menarche and normal final height. In contrast, girls with low birth weight tend to progress relatively rapidly to an early menarche and to a reduced final height. If these findings are confirmed in other ethnic and/or larger groups, then a subgroup has been identified that will most likely benefit from any therapeutic intervention aiming at a delay of pubertal development and/or an increase of final height.
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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
                978-3-8055-8117-2
                978-3-318-01345-0
                1663-2818
                1663-2826
                2006
                April 2006
                10 April 2006
                : 65
                : Suppl 3
                : 112-115
                Affiliations
                aUniversity of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, and bUniversity of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
                Article
                91515 Horm Res 2006;65:112–115
                10.1159/000091515
                16612123
                © 2006 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
                Figures: 2, References: 26, Pages: 4
                Categories
                Influence of Size at Birth on Postnatal Endocrine Function

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