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1.  Inhibin B and anti-Müllerian hormone as markers of gonadal function after hematopoietic cell transplantation during childhood 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:20.
It is difficult to predict the reproductive capacity of children given hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) before pubertal age because the plasma concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are not informative and no spermogram can be done.
We classified the gonadal function of 38 boys and 34 girls given HCT during childhood who had reached pubertal age according to their pubertal development and FSH and LH and compared this to their plasma inhibin B and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH).
Ten (26%) boys had normal testicular function, 16 (42%) had isolated tubular failure and 12 (32%) also had Leydig cell failure. All 16 boys given melphalan had tubular failure. AMH were normal in 25 patients and decreased in 6, all of whom had increased FSH and low inhibin B.
Seven (21%) girls had normal ovarian function, 11 (32%) had partial and 16 (47%) complete ovarian failure. 7/8 girls given busulfan had increased FSH and LH and 7/8 had low inhibin B. AMH indicated that ovarian function was impaired in all girls.
FSH and inhibin B were negatively correlated in boys (P < 0.0001) and girls (P = 0.0006). Neither the age at HCT nor the interval between HCT and evaluation influenced gonadal function.
The concordance between FSH and inhibin B suggests that inhibin B may help in counselling at pubertal age. In boys, AMH were difficult to use as they normally decrease when testosterone increases at puberty. In girls, low AMH suggest that there is major loss of primordial follicles.
PMCID: PMC3058047  PMID: 21352536
2.  Diagnosis of growth hormone (GH) deficiency: comparison of pituitary stalk interruption syndrome and transient GH deficiency 
BMC Pediatrics  2009;9:29.
Most patients with childhood non-organic growth hormone (GH) deficiency (GHD) produce a normal GH peak as young adults. Our objectives were to better define this transient GHD and evaluate the factors influencing the growth response of patients with pituitary stalk interruption syndrome (PSIS).
We studied 72 prepubertal patients with a GH peak < 6.7 ng/ml after 2 stimulation tests, treated with 0.2 mg GH/kg/w for at least 3 years. Group 1 (n = 53, 4.7 ± 4.0 years) had PSIS and Group 2 (n = 19, 9.2 ± 3.0 years) had transient GHD and normal pituitary.
At diagnosis, 64% of Group 1 and one Group 2 were < 5 years old. The growth rate of 59% Group 1 and two Group 2 patients was ≤ -2 SDS. The GH peak of 64% Group 1 patients and no Group 2 patients was < 3 ng/ml. The plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 of all Group 1 and all but one Group 2 patients was ≤ -2 z scores.
During the first year of GH treatment, the growth rate was ≥ 2 SDS in 81% Group 1 and 37% Group 2 patients. In Group 1, it was negatively correlated with the GH peak before treatment (P < 0.03), and with the difference between the target and adult heights (P < 0.01).
The height gain SDSs between diagnosis and adult height were 1.7 ± 1.2 in Group 1 (n = 30) and 1.08 ± 0.8 in Group 2 (n = 12, P = 0.05).
The factors of the growth response to GH treatment should be analysed separately for each population: with and without PSIS or other markers.
PMCID: PMC2684107  PMID: 19419564
3.  Childhood craniopharyngioma: greater hypothalamic involvement before surgery is associated with higher homeostasis model insulin resistance index 
BMC Pediatrics  2009;9:24.
Obesity seems to be linked to the hypothalamic involvement in craniopharyngioma. We evaluated the pre-surgery relationship between the degree of this involvement on magnetic resonance imaging and insulin resistance, as evaluated by the homeostasis model insulin resistance index (HOMA). As insulin-like growth factor 1, leptin, soluble leptin receptor (sOB-R) and ghrelin may also be involved, we compared their plasma concentrations and their link to weight change.
27 children with craniopharyngioma were classified as either grade 0 (n = 7, no hypothalamic involvement), grade 1 (n = 8, compression without involvement), or grade 2 (n = 12, severe involvement).
Despite having similar body mass indexes (BMI), the grade 2 patients had higher glucose, insulin and HOMA before surgery than the grade 0 (P = 0.02, <0.05 and 0.02 respectively) and 1 patients (P < 0.02 and <0.03 for both insulin and HOMA). The grade 0 (5.8 ± 4.9) and 1 (7.2 ± 5.3) patients gained significantly less weight (kg) during the year after surgery than did the grade 2 (16.3 ± 7.4) patients. The pre-surgery HOMA was positively correlated with these weight changes (P < 0.03).
The data for the whole population before and 6–18 months after surgery showed increases in BMI (P < 0.0001), insulin (P < 0.005), and leptin (P = 0.0005), and decreases in sOB-R (P < 0.04) and ghrelin (P < 0.03).
The hypothalamic involvement by the craniopharyngioma before surgery seems to determine the degree of insulin resistance, regardless of the BMI. The pre-surgery HOMA values were correlated with the post-surgery weight gain. This suggests that obesity should be prevented by reducing inn secretion in those cases with hypothalamic involvement.
PMCID: PMC2675525  PMID: 19341477
4.  Selecting short-statured children needing growth hormone testing: Derivation and validation of a clinical decision rule 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:29.
Numerous short-statured children are evaluated for growth hormone (GH) deficiency (GHD). In most patients, GH provocative tests are normal and are thus in retrospect unnecessary.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted to identify predictors of growth hormone (GH) deficiency (GHD) in children seen for short stature, and to construct a very sensitive and fairly specific predictive tool to avoid unnecessary GH provocative tests. GHD was defined by the presence of 2 GH concentration peaks < 10 ng/ml. Certain GHD was defined as GHD and viewing pituitary stalk interruption syndrome on magnetic resonance imaging. Independent predictors were identified with uni- and multi-variate analyses and then combined in a decision rule that was validated in another population.
The initial study included 167 patients, 36 (22%) of whom had GHD, including 5 (3%) with certain GHD. Independent predictors of GHD were: growth rate < -1 DS (adjusted odds ratio: 3.2; 95% confidence interval [1.3–7.9]), IGF-I concentration < -2 DS (2.8 [1.1–7.3]) and BMI z-score ≥ 0 (2.8 [1.2–6.5]). A clinical decision rule suggesting that patients be tested only if they had a growth rate < -1 DS and a IGF-I concentration < -2 DS achieved 100% sensitivity [48–100] for certain GHD and 63% [47–79] for GHD, and a specificity of 68% [60–76]. Applying this rule to the validation population (n = 40, including 13 patients with certain GHD), the sensitivity for certain GHD was 92% [76–100] and the specificity 70% [53–88].
We have derived and performed an internal validation of a highly sensitive decision rule that could safely help to avoid more than 2/3 of the unnecessary GH tests. External validation of this rule is needed before any application.
PMCID: PMC2492843  PMID: 18631396
5.  Idiopathic central precocious puberty in girls: presentation factors 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:27.
It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between premature thelarche and precocious puberty in girls who develop breasts before the age of 8 years. We evaluated the frequencies of the signs associated with breast development and the factors influencing the presentation of girls with idiopathic central precocious puberty (CPP).
353 girls monitored 0.9 ± 0.7 year after the onset of CPP.
The age at CPP was < 3 years in 2%, 3–7 years in 38% and 7–8 years in 60% of cases. Pubic hair was present in 67%, growth rate greater than 2 SDS in 46% and bone age advance greater than 2 years in 33% of cases. Breast development was clinically isolated in 70 (20%) cases. However, only 31 of these (8.8% of the population) had a prepubertal length uterus and gonadotropin responses to gonadotropin releasing hormone and plasma estradiol. The clinical picture of CPP became complete during the year following the initial evaluation.
25% of cases were obese. The increase in weight during the previous year (3.7 ± 1.4 kg) and body mass index were positively correlated with the statural growth and bone age advance (P < 0.0001).
There was no relationship between the clinical-biological presentation and the age at puberty, the interval between the onset of puberty and evaluation, or the presence of familial CPP.
The variation in presentation of girls with CPP does not depend on their age, interval between the onset and evaluation, or familial factors. This suggests that there are degrees of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian activation that are not explained by these factors.
PMCID: PMC2459158  PMID: 18601733

Results 1-5 (5)