Background: In Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) a reduced growth hormone (GH) response to several stimulators has been documented in many studies, but none have focused on very young children. We evaluated the pattern of GH secretion in very young PWS patients. Patients and Methods: Twenty-seven genetically confirmed PWS children (10 females, aged 0.4-5 years, mean: 2.2 ± 1.4 years) were included. All subjects underwent standard provocative tests (clonidine, CLO; and arginine, ARG) and one combined test [growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) plus pyridostigmine (13 patients) or GHRH plus arginine (14 patients)]. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels were also measured. Results: While standard tests (CLO and ARG) showed low GH peak in 85.2 and 70.4% of the patients, respectively, the combined test was found to be normal in 85.2%. IGF-1 was low in 66.7% of patients. Out of 27 patients, 3 (11%) showed a normal GH peak with both standard tests (group A), 6 (22%) to one of the standard tests (group B) and 18 (67%) presented a low response to both standard tests (group C). Four subjects showed low response to both the combined and standard tests and reduced IGF-1. Conclusion: Our data suggest that very young PWS children seem to have impaired hypothalamic GHRH secretion with a normal GH pituitary reserve.
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Hypothalamic disorders
- Insulin like growth factor-1
- Prader-Willi syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health