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      Is There Growth Hormone Deficiency in Prader-Willi Syndrome?

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          Prader-Labhart-Willi syndrome (PWS) is the most frequent form of syndromal obesity. Its main features are associated with hypothalamic dysfunction, which has not yet been comprehensively described. The aim of this review is to present arguments to define the presence of genuine growth hormone (GH) deficiency (GHD) in these patients. Decreasing growth velocity despite the onset of obesity, reduced lean body mass in the presence of adiposity, small hands and feet, relatively low insulin-like growth factor-I and low insulin levels, as well as the dramatic effect of GH treatment on growth, support the presence of hypothalamic GHD in PWS. Even though it might be difficult to ultimately prove GHD in PWS because of the obesity-induced counterregulation, the hormonal situation differs from that in simple obesity. The effects of long-term therapies with GH on body composition in these patients are summarized. GH therapy dramatically changes the phenotype of PWS in childhood: height and weight become normal and there is a sustained impact on the net loss of body fat. We conclude that GHD may account for several features of PWS.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Genetic imprinting suggested by maternal heterodisomy in nondeletion Prader-Willi syndrome.

          Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is the most common form of dysmorphic genetic obesity associated with mental retardation. About 60% of cases have a cytological deletion of chromosome 15q11q13 (refs 2, 3). These deletions occur de novo exclusively on the paternal chromosome. By contrast, Angelman syndrome (AS) is a very different clinical disorder and is also associated with deletions of region 15q11q13 (refs 6-8), indistinguishable from those in PWS except that they occur de novo on the maternal chromosome. The parental origin of the affected chromosomes 15 in these disorders could, therefore, be a contributory factor in determining their clinical phenotypes. We have now used cloned DNA markers specific for the 15q11q13 subregion to determine the parental origin of chromosome 15 in PWS individuals not having cytogenetic deletions; these individuals account for almost all of the remaining 40% of PWS cases. Probands in two families displayed maternal uniparental disomy for chromosome 15q11q13. This is the first demonstration that maternal heterodisomy--the presence of two different chromosome 15s derived from the mother--can be associated with a human genetic disease. The absence of a paternal contribution of genes in region 15q11q13, as found in PWS deletion cases, rather than a mutation in a specific gene(s) in this region may result in expression of the clinical phenotype. Thus, we conclude that a gene or genes in region 15q11q13 must be inherited from each parent for normal human development.
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            Effect of growth hormone treatment on adult height of children with idiopathic short stature. Genentech Collaborative Group.

            Short-term administration of growth hormone to children with idiopathic short stature results in increases in growth rate and standard-deviation scores for height. However, the effect of long-term growth hormone therapy on adult height in these children is unknown. We studied 121 children with idiopathic short stature, all of whom had an initial height below the third percentile, low growth rates, and maximal stimulated serum concentrations of growth hormone of at least 10 microg per liter. The children were treated with growth hormone (0.3 mg per kilogram of body weight per week) for 2 to 10 years. Eighty of these children have reached adult height, with a bone age of at least 16 years in the boys and at least 14 years in the girls, and pubertal stage 4 or 5. The difference between the predicted adult height before treatment and achieved adult height was compared with the corresponding difference in three untreated normal or short-statured control groups. In the 80 children who have reached adult height, growth hormone treatment increased the mean standard-deviation score for height (number of standard deviations from the mean height for chronologic age) from -2.7 to -1.4. The mean (+/-SD) difference between predicted adult height before treatment and achieved adult height was +5.0+/-5.1 cm for boys and +5.9+/-5.2 cm for girls. The difference between predicted and achieved adult height among treated boys was 9.2 cm greater than the corresponding difference among untreated boys with initial standard-deviation scores of less than -2, and the difference among treated girls was 5.7 cm greater than the difference among untreated girls. Long-term administration of growth hormone to children with idiopathic short stature can increase adult height to a level above the predicted adult height and above the adult height of untreated historical control children.
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              Serum levels of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and IGF binding protein 3 reflect spontaneous growth hormone secretion

               W F Blum (1993)

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                August 2000
                17 November 2004
                : 53
                : Suppl 3
                : 44-52
                Foundation Growth Puberty Adolescence, Zürich, Switzerland
                23533 Horm Res 2000;53(suppl 3):44–52
                © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, References: 88, Pages: 9


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