Serum levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in girls with premature thelarche

Annalisa Deodati, Alessia Sallemi, Francesca Maranghi, Daniela Germani, Antonella Puglianiello, Francesca Baldari, Luca Busani, Francesca Romana Mancini, Roberta Tassinari, Alberto Mantovani, Stefano Cianfarani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are widely used as flame retardants and have shown endocrine disruption properties in experimental studies. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the exposure to PBDEs and alterations of puberty in girls referred for idiopathic central precocious puberty (ICPP) and premature thelarche (PT). Methods: A case-control study was conducted in 124 girls: 37 girls with ICPP (mean age 7.4 ± 0.9 years), 56 with PT (mean age 5.7 ± 2.1 years) and 31 controls (mean age 5.4 ± 1.9 years). PBDE serum concentrations, hormone levels and anthropometry were assessed. PBDE concentrations were corrected for total serum lipid content. Individual exposure to PBDEs was evaluated through ad hoc questionnaires. Results: PBDE serum concentrations corrected for total lipid content were significantly higher in girls with PT (mean 1.49 ± 0.63 log ng/g) than in controls (mean 1.23 ± 0.54 log ng/g; p < 0.05). PT girls showed higher levels of PBDE than ICPP girls (1.49 ± 0.63 vs. 1.37 ± 0.49 log ng/g), though this was not significant. An analysis of the questionnaires revealed no significant differences in exposure between the three groups. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that higher concentrations of serum PBDEs are associated with PT in girls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-239
Number of pages7
JournalHormone Research in Paediatrics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Idiopathic central precocious puberty
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers
  • Premature thelarche

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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