Diagnosis and treatment of central precocious puberty—can final height be improved? German/Dutch Central Precocious Puberty Study Group

W G Sippell
Hormone Research 1994, 41 Suppl 2: 14-5
Central precocious puberty is characterized by premature activation of the hypothalamic gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) pulse generator, resulting in accelerated growth and bone maturation with clinical signs of gonadarche before the age of 8 years in girls and 9 years in boys. In rapidly progressing central precocious puberty, the plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) response to exogenous GnRH exceeds the reference range for sex and stage of puberty, and the ratio of LH:follicle-stimulating hormone after GnRH is usually above 1. Short adult stature, with unfavourable body proportions, i.e. an increased upper:lower segment ratio, is probably the only handicap of idiopathic central precocious puberty that persists into adulthood. This cannot be avoided by treatment with either medroxyprogesterone or cyproterone acetate. Following the first report of pituitary-gonadal suppression in a 2-year-old girl with central precocious puberty using daily injections of the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist deslorelin, various short-acting GnRH agonists have been studied in children with central precocious puberty. Some of the older patients treated for shorter periods have now reached adult or near-final height. By 1985, slow-release (depot) GnRH agonists, such as triptorelin and later leuprorelin, were available. These are injected only once every 4 weeks instead of daily or given by nasal spray six times daily, making long-term treatment much more acceptable to patients and their parents. Moreover, suppression of gonadarche is more complete with long-acting (e.g. triptorelin) compared with short-acting (e.g. buserelin) agonists, resulting in significantly slower bone age progression and, thus, greater improvement in predicted, and probably also in achieved, final height.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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