Publications by authors named "Carla Bizzarri"

64 Publications

Hypogonadism in male and female: which is the best treatment?

Minerva Pediatr (Torino) 2021 Jul 26. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Pediatric Endocrinology Unit, Department of Public Health and Pediatric Sciences, Regina Margherita Children Hospital, University of Turin, Turin, Italy -

Background: Subjects with hypo-or hypergonadotropic hypogonadism need hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to initiate puberty and maintain it with a normal hormonal status. While general recommendations for the management of HRT in adults have been published, no systematic suggestions focused on adolescents and young adults. The focus of this review is the HRT in males and females with hypogonadism, from puberty to late reproductive age, covering the different management options, encompassing sex steroid or gonadotropin therapy, with discussion of benefits, limitations and specific considerations of the different treatments.

Methods: We conducted an extensive search in the 3 major scientific databases (PubMed, EMBASE and Google Scholar) using the keywords "hormonal replacement therapy", "hypogonadism", "bone mineral density", "estradiol/testosterone", "puberty induction", "delayed puberty". Case-control studies, case series, reviews and meta-analysis published in English from 1990 to date were included.

Results: By considering the available opportunities for fertility induction and preservation, we hereby present the proposals of practical schemes to induce puberty, and a decisional algorithm to approach HRT in post-pubertal adolescents.

Conclusions: A condition of hypogonadism can underlie different etiologies involving the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis at different levels. Since the long-terms effects of hypogonadism may vary and include not only physical outcomes related to sex hormone deficiencies, but also psychological problems and implications on fertility, the initiation, maintenance and consolidation of puberty with different pharmaceutical options is of utmost importance and beside pubertal development, optimal uterine and testicular growth and adequate bone health should consider also the psychosocial wellbeing and the potential fertility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S2724-5276.21.06534-4DOI Listing
July 2021

Biological clock and heredity in pubertal timing: what is new?

Minerva Pediatr (Torino) 2021 Jul 15. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Unit of Endocrinology, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy -

Puberty represents a milestone during a person's life and is characterized by several physical and psychological changes which end with the achievement of sexual maturation and of fertility. Puberty onset depends on a series of sophisticated, not completely understood, mechanisms certainly involving Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) and its effects on pituitary gonadotropins. As recent evidence has demonstrated that pubertal timing deeply affects future adult health life, much efforts have been performed in order to clarify the exact actors involved in the onset and progression of puberty. Genetic factors are undoubtedly essential players in the regulation of pubertal development, accounting for approximately 50-80% of its variability. Mutations in genes such as KISS1, MKRN3 and DLK1 have been associated with central precocious puberty. Interestingly, a possible involvement of epigenetic mechanisms has been proposed as additional element able to affect pubertal phase. Environmental factors have recently attracted much attention. Indeed, an overall decrease in the age of puberty has been observed in the last decades. As genetic factors require long time to exert their effect, other players, such as environmental ones, may be involved. Special focus has been posed on nutritional status, endocrine-disrupting chemicals with non-conclusive results. Pubertal timing deeply affects future life, suggesting the need to clarify mechanisms driving pubertal onset and progression, in order to identify tailored therapeutic strategies and targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S2724-5276.21.06511-3DOI Listing
July 2021

Differences of sex development in the newborn: from clinical scenario to molecular diagnosis.

Minerva Pediatr (Torino) 2021 Jun 21. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Unit of Endocrinology, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital (IRCCS), Rome, Italy.

Differences/disorders of sex development (DSD) are defined as a group of congenital conditions in which the development of chromosomal, gonadal or anatomical sex is atypical. The incidence of DSD is 1:4500 births. The current classification divides DSDs into 3 categories according to chromosomal sex: 46,XX DSD, 46,XY DSD and sex chromosome DSD. DSD phenotypes can be concordant with the genotype (apparently normal external genitalia associated with gonadal dysgenesis), or can range from simply hypospadias to completely masculinised or feminised genitalia with a discordant karyotype. Numerous genes implicated in genital development have been reported. The search of genetic variants represents a central element of the extended investigation, as an improved knowledge of the genetic aetiology helps the immediate and long-term management of children with DSDs, in term of sex of rearing, hormone therapy, surgery, fertility and cancer risk. This review aims to assess the current role of molecular diagnosis in DSD management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S2724-5276.21.06512-5DOI Listing
June 2021

"Impact of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on early onset of puberty: experience of an Italian tertiary center".

Ital J Pediatr 2021 Mar 5;47(1):52. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Unit of Endocrinology, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Piazza Sant'Onofrio 4, 00165, Rome, Italy.

At the end of 2019, an emerging atypical pneumonia called COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), caused by the novel coronavirus defined as SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2), was first reported. COVID-19 rapidly expanded leading to an epidemic in China, followed by a global pandemic during the year 2020. In few weeks Italy was assaulted by a severe health emergency, constraining the Italian government to put in place extraordinary restrictive measures, such as school closures and a strict lockdown extended to the entire country at the beginning of March 2020. Since the beginning of lockdown, the Endocrinology Unit of Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital has recorded a rapid increase of the outpatient consultations for suspected precocious or early puberty. We have now retrospectively analyzed all the consultations recorded in the database of our outpatient clinic from March to September 2020, and compared them with the consultations recorded in the same database from March to September 2019. Our preliminary data suggest a significant increase of precocious puberty cases in girls during the first period of COVID-19 pandemic. Further investigations in larger cohorts of children are needed in order to correlate the observed increase of precocious puberty with specific pathogenic factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13052-021-01015-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7935003PMC
March 2021

Pain Study in X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy in Males and Females.

Pain Ther 2021 Jun 20;10(1):505-523. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

Introduction: X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a metabolic disorder in which very long chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) are accumulated in the nervous system and adrenal cortex, impairing their functions. Three main variants are described in males: adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), a cerebral form (cALD or cAMN) and Addison's disease only (AD), while for females no classification is used. To evaluate pain and the functional state of afferent fibers, a series of tests was carried out in male and female patients.

Methods: Chronic pain occurrence and sensory phenotype profile were assessed in 30 patients (20 male: 10 AMN, 1 cAMN, 1 cALD, 8 AD; and 10 female). A set of instruments assessed the intensity, quality and extent of pain, while a battery of quantitative sensory testing (QST) procedures examined the functional status of Aβ and Aδ fibers. Principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering with sensory responses input were used to identify distinct clusters.

Results: Nearly half of the subjects reported pain, with a high prevalence in females and male AMN patients. No sex differences in pain dimensions were found. The sensory responses were heterogeneous, differing among the clinical variants and between genders. Male AMN/cAMN/cALD patients showed the worst impairment. Aβ and Aδ fibers were affected in males and females, but Aβ fibers appeared undamaged in females when tactile sensitivity was tested. Abnormal responses were localized in the lower body district, according to the dying-back pattern of the neuropathy. Cluster analysis showed discrete clusters for each function examined, with well-interpretable sensory and clinical phenotypes.

Conclusion: The study of pain and of the sensory profile appears to indicate a difference in the mechanisms underlying the AMN/cAMN/cALD and AD clinical forms and in the treatment of the respective generated pain types.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40122-021-00245-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8119579PMC
June 2021

Differences between transient neonatal diabetes mellitus subtypes can guide diagnosis and therapy.

Eur J Endocrinol 2021 Apr;184(4):575-585

Department of Pediatrics, University of Rome Sapienza, Rome, Italy.

Objective: Transient neonatal diabetes mellitus (TNDM) is caused by activating mutations in ABCC8 and KCNJ11 genes (KATP/TNDM) or by chromosome 6q24 abnormalities (6q24/TNDM). We wanted to assess whether these different genetic aetiologies result in distinct clinical features.

Design: Retrospective analysis of the Italian data set of patients with TNDM.

Methods: Clinical features and treatment of 22 KATP/TNDM patients and 12 6q24/TNDM patients were compared.

Results: Fourteen KATP/TNDM probands had a carrier parent with abnormal glucose values, four patients with 6q24 showed macroglossia and/or umbilical hernia. Median age at diabetes onset and birth weight were lower in patients with 6q24 (1 week; -2.27 SD) than those with KATP mutations (4.0 weeks; -1.04 SD) (P = 0.009 and P = 0.007, respectively). Median time to remission was longer in KATP/TNDM than 6q24/TNDM (21.5 weeks vs 12 weeks) (P = 0.002). Two KATP/TNDM patients entered diabetes remission without pharmacological therapy. A proband with the ABCC8/L225P variant previously associated with permanent neonatal diabetes entered 7-year long remission after 1 year of sulfonylurea therapy. Seven diabetic individuals with KATP mutations were successfully treated with sulfonylurea monotherapy; four cases with relapsing 6q24/TNDM were treated with insulin, metformin or combination therapy.

Conclusions: If TNDM is suspected, KATP genes should be analyzed first with the exception of patients with macroglossia and/or umbilical hernia. Remission of diabetes without pharmacological therapy should not preclude genetic analysis. Early treatment with sulfonylurea may induce long-lasting remission of diabetes in patients with KATP mutations associated with PNDM. Adult patients carrying KATP/TNDM mutations respond favourably to sulfonylurea monotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EJE-20-1030DOI Listing
April 2021

Primary Adrenal Insufficiency in Childhood: Data From a Large Nationwide Cohort.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 03;106(3):762-773

Pediatric Endocrinology Unit, Department of Translational Medical Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Endo-ERN Center for Rare Endocrine Conditions, Naples, Italy.

Context: Primary adrenal insufficiency (PAI) is a rare and potentially life-threatening condition that is poorly characterized in children.

Objective: To describe causes, presentation, auxological outcome, frequency of adrenal crisis and mortality of a large cohort of children with PAI.

Patients And Methods: Data from 803 patients from 8 centers of Pediatric Endocrinology were retrospectively collected.

Results: The following etiologies were reported: 85% (n = 682) congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency (21-OHD); 3.1% (n = 25) X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy; 3.1% (n = 25) autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1; 2.5% (n = 20) autoimmune adrenal insufficiency; 2% (n = 16) adrenal hypoplasia congenital; 1.2% (n = 10) non-21-OHD CAH; 1% (n = 8) rare syndromes; 0.6% (n = 5) familial glucocorticoid deficiency; 0.4% (n = 3) acquired adrenal insufficiency; 9 patients (1%) did not receive diagnosis. Since 21-OHD CAH has been extensively characterized, it was not further reviewed. In 121 patients with a diagnosis other than 21-OHD CAH, the most frequent symptoms at diagnosis were fatigue (67%), hyperpigmentation (50.4%), dehydration (33%), and hypotension (31%). Elevated adrenocorticotropic hormone (96.4%) was the most common laboratory finding followed by hyponatremia (55%), hyperkalemia (32.7%), and hypoglycemia (33.7%). The median age at presentation was 6.5 ± 5.1 years (0.1-17.8 years) and the mean duration of symptoms before diagnosis was 5.6 ± 11.6 months (0-56 months) depending on etiology. Rate of adrenal crisis was 2.7 per 100 patient-years. Three patients died from the underlying disease. Adult height, evaluated in 70 patients, was -0.70 ± 1.20 standard deviation score.

Conclusions: We characterized one of the largest cohorts of children with PAI aiming to improve the knowledge on diagnosis of this rare condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa881DOI Listing
March 2021

Unusual Presentation of Denys-Drash Syndrome in a Girl with Undisclosed Consumption of Biotin

J Clin Res Pediatr Endocrinol 2021 08 25;13(3):347-352. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

IRCCS Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Unit of Medical Laboratory, Rome, Italy

We describe a 46,XX girl with Denys-Drash syndrome, showing both kidney disease and genital abnormalities, in whom a misdiagnosis of hyperandrogenism was made. A 15 year-old girl was affected by neonatal nephrotic syndrome, progressing to end stage kidney failure. Hair loss and voice deepening were noted during puberty. Pelvic ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging showed utero-tubaric agenesis, vaginal atresia and urogenital sinus, with inguinal gonads. Gonadotrophin and estradiol levels were normal, but testosterone was increased up to 285 ng/dL at Tanner stage 3. She underwent prophylactic gonadectomy. Histopathology reported fibrotic ovarian cortex containing numerous follicles in different maturation stages and rudimental remnants of Fallopian tubes. No features of gonadoblastoma were detected. Unexpectedly, testosterone levels were elevated four months after gonadectomy (157 ng/dL). Recent medical history revealed chronic daily comsumption of high dose biotin, as a therapeutic support for hair loss. Laboratory immunoassay instruments used streptavidin-biotin interaction to detect hormones and, in competitive immunoassays, high concentrations of biotin can result in false high results. Total testosterone, measured using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, was within reference intervals. Similar testosterone levels were detected on repeat immunoassay two weeks after biotin uptake interruption. Discordance between clinical presentation and biochemical results in patients taking biotin, should raise the suspicion of erroneous results. Improved communication among patients, health care providers, and laboratory professionals is required concerning the likelihood of biotin interference with immunoassays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4274/jcrpe.galenos.2020.2020.0064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8388055PMC
August 2021

Growth Trajectory and Adult Height in Children with Nonclassical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia.

Horm Res Paediatr 2020 18;93(3):173-181. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Pediatric Section, University of Bari "A. Moro", Bari, Italy.

Background: Children with nonclassical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NCCAH) often present increased growth velocity secondary to elevation of adrenal androgens that accelerates bone maturation and might compromise adult height (AH).

Objective: The aim of the study was to analyze prognostic factors affecting growth trajectory (GT) and AH in children with NCCAH.

Methods: The study was a retrospective, multicentric study. The study population consisted of 192 children with a confirmed molecular diagnosis of NCCAH, followed by pediatric endocrinology centers from diagnosis up to AH. Clinical records were collected and analyzed. AH (standard deviation score; SDS), pubertal growth (PG) (cm), GT from diagnosis to AH (SDS), and AH adjusted to target height (TH) (AH-TH SDS) were evaluated as outcome indicators using stepwise linear regression models.

Results: The stepwise linear regression analysis showed that AH and AH-TH were significantly related to chronological age (CA) (p = 0.008 and 0.016), bone age (BA)/CA ratio (p = 0.004 and 0.001), height (H) (p < 0.001 for both parameters) at NCCAH diagnosis, and TH (p = 0.013 and <0.001). PG was higher in males than in females (22.59 ± 5.74 vs. 20.72 ± 17.4 cm, p = 0.002), as physiologically observed, and was positively related to height (p = 0.027), negatively to BMI (p = 0.001) and BA/CA ratio (p = 0.001) at NCCAH diagnosis. Gender, genotype, biochemical data, and hydrocortisone treatment did not significantly impair height outcomes of these NCCAH children.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that AH and GT of NCCAH patients are mainly affected by the severity of phenotype (CA, BA/CA ratio, and H) at the time of diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000509548DOI Listing
July 2021

Ontogeny of Hypothalamus-Pituitary Gonadal Axis and Minipuberty: An Ongoing Debate?

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2020 7;11:187. Epub 2020 Apr 7.

Unit of Endocrinology, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital (IRCCS), Rome, Italy.

The fetal hypothalamus-pituitary gonadal (HPG) axis begins to function during mid-gestation but its activity decreases during late pregnancy due to the suppressive effects of placental estrogens. Placental hormones drop immediately after birth, FSH and LH surge at around 1 week and peak between 1 and 3 months of life. The HPG axis is activated in both sexes, but a sexual dimorphism is evident with higher LH values in boys, while FSH prevails in girls. Both gonadotrophins decline in boys by around 6 months of age. In girls, LH declines at the same time as in boys, while FSH persists elevated up to 3 or 4 years of age. As a result of gonadotropin activation, testicular testosterone increases in males and ovarian estradiol rises in females. These events clinically translate into testicular and penile growth in boys, enlargement of uterus and breasts in girls. The functional impact of HPG axis activity in infancy on later reproductive function is uncertain. According to the perinatal programming theory, this period may represent an essential programming process. In boys, long-term testicular hormonal function and spermatogenesis seem to be, at least in part, regulated by minipuberty. On the contrary, the role of minipuberty in girls is still uncertain. Recently, androgen exposure during minipuberty has been correlated with later sex-typed behavior. Premature and/or SGA infants show significant differences in postnatal HPG axis activity in comparison to full-term infants and the consequences of these differences on later health and disease require further research. The sex-dimorphic HPG activation during mid-gestation is probably responsible for the body composition differences observed ad birth between boys and girls, with boys showing greater total body mass and lean mass, and a lower proportion of fat mass. Testosterone exposure during minipuberty further contributes to these differences and seems to be responsible for the significantly higher growth velocity observed in male infants. Lastly, minipuberty is a valuable "window of opportunity" for differential diagnosis of disorders of sex development and it represents the only time window before puberty when congenital hypogonadism can be diagnosed by the simple analysis of basal gonadotropin and gonadal hormone levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2020.00187DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7154076PMC
April 2021

The impact of IGF-I, puberty and obesity on early retinopathy in children: a cross-sectional study.

Ital J Pediatr 2019 Apr 27;45(1):52. Epub 2019 Apr 27.

Unit of Endocrinology, "Bambino Gesù" Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Piazza S. Onofrio 4, 00165, Rome, Italy.

Background: Childhood obesity has been correlated with coronary heart disease, but the correlation with microvascular disease remains unclear. The retinal microcirculation is affected early in the process of atherosclerosis and it offers the opportunity to indirectly study the effects of obesity on small brain vessels. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) is involved in angiogenesis and it has a crucial role in retinal vascularization.

Methods: A single-centre cross-sectional study was performed in 268 children and adolescents (116 males; mean age 13.03 ± 1.9 years,) with overweight/obesity, in order to identify risk factors for early retinopathy.

Results: Nine patients (3.3%) showed signs of retinopathy, defined as arteriovenous crossings and/or papilledema. Body mass index and fat mass, analysed by Dual X-ray Absorptiometry, were not different in patients with or without retinopathy. Patients with retinopathy were pubertal and showed higher waist circumference (107.78 ± 15.83 versus 99.46 ± 10.85 cm; p: 0.027), waist circumference/height ratio (0.66 ± 0.07 versus 0.62 ± 0.05; p: 0.04) and IGF-I SDS (0.03 ± 1.3 versus - 0.66 ± 0.9; p: 0.04). Multivariate analysis (after correction for sex, age, family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and dyslipidaemia) showed that waist circumference/height ratio and IGF-I SDS were the only variables independently correlated with the presence of retinopathy.

Conclusions: Retinal vascular changes may become evident as an early complication of overweight and obesity, even during childhood and adolescence. Relatively high levels of IGF-I during this phase may act as an additional risk factor for microvascular damage. The screening for retinopathy should be proposed to all children and adolescents with overweight/obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13052-019-0650-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6487055PMC
April 2019

Identification of a Novel PROP1 Mutation in a Patient with Combined Pituitary Hormone Deficiency and Enlarged Pituitary.

Int J Mol Sci 2019 Apr 16;20(8). Epub 2019 Apr 16.

Pediatric Clinic, Department of Surgical and Biomedical Sciences, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Piazza Lucio Severi 1, 06132 Perugia, Italy.

Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) can be present from the neonatal period to adulthood and can be the result of congenital or acquired insults. In addition, GHD can be classified into two types: isolated growth hormone deficiency (IGHD) and combined pituitary hormone deficiency (CPHD). CPHD is a disorder characterized by impaired production of two or more anterior and/or posterior pituitary hormones. Many genes implicated in CPHD remain to be identified. Better genetic characterization will provide more information about the disorder and result in important genetic counselling because a number of patients with hypopituitarism represent familial cases. To date, PROP1 mutations represent the most common known genetic cause of CPHD both in sporadic and familial cases. We report a novel mutation in the PROP1 gene in an infant with CPHD and an enlarged pituitary gland. Close long-term follow-up will reveal other possible hormonal defects and pituitary involution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms20081875DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6515070PMC
April 2019

Renal Tubular Dysfunction Fully Accounts for Plasma Biochemical Abnormalities in Type 1A Pseudohypoparathyroidism.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2019 03;104(3):823-826

Nephrology Unit, Bambino Gesù Children's Research Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Context: Type 1A pseudohypoparathyroidism (PHP-1A) is characterized by target organ resistance to PTH. Patients can present with various dysmorphic features; however, renal failure has not been classically described.

Case Description: A female patient came to our attention at the age of 7 years with characteristic signs of PTH resistance (i.e., hypocalcemia, hyperphosphatemia, and high serum PTH levels). She also presented with hypothyroidism, early-onset obesity, short metacarpal bones, and multiple subcutaneous ossifications, leading to a clinical diagnosis of pseudohypoparathyroidism. In addition to her genetic condition, she had bilateral renal hypodysplasia that was slowly progressing to end-stage kidney disease. She received a kidney transplant at the age of 16 years and, after transplantation, experienced rapidly normalized calcium, phosphate, and PTH levels, allowing f withdrawal of vitamin D supplementation.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, ours is the first report of a patient with PHP-1A undergoing kidney transplantation. Normalization of biochemical parameters after the procedure demonstrated that renal tubular resistance to PTH is sufficient to explain the calcium/phosphate abnormalities observed in PHP-1A.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2018-01193DOI Listing
March 2019

Growth failure in Crohn's disease children: may the first treatment have a role?

Expert Rev Clin Immunol 2019 01 15;15(1):97-104. Epub 2018 Nov 15.

a Artificial Nutrition Unit , "Bambino Gesù" Children Hospital , Rome , Italy.

: Growth failure in children is a frequent feature of childhood-onset Crohn's disease (CD), and stunting can persist into adulthood. Growth is an important outcome by which to judge the effectiveness of therapies in children; currently available studies in CD children have focused on the short-term impact of treatments on growth, and there are limited data regarding the long-term effects of treatments upon growth. : We designed the present article to review whether the first treatment performed in newly diagnosed CD children may have a role on the future growth course. We conducted a systematic literature search to identify relevant studies published on the PubMed database from January 2002 up to now. We found only six surveys that documented mid-term growth course in newly diagnosed CD patients. : In the last years there have been relevant advances in the clinical management of CD children; however, there is a lack of knowledge about the best strategy to reverse growth failure. Children treated with enteral nutrition have appropriate height and weight gain but do not reverse the growth course. Further surveys are required to better explore not only clinical outcomes but also long-term growth course following each therapeutic strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1744666X.2019.1543590DOI Listing
January 2019

Next-Generation Sequencing Identifies Different Genetic Defects in 2 Patients with Primary Adrenal Insufficiency and Gonadotropin-Independent Precocious Puberty.

Horm Res Paediatr 2018 4;90(3):203-211. Epub 2018 Sep 4.

Endocrinology Unit, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Background: The development of gonadotropin-independent (peripheral) precocious puberty in male children with primary adrenal insufficiency (PAI) is consistent with a defect in the genes encoding for the enzymes involved in steroid hormone biosynthesis.

Methods: Two young boys presented with peripheral precocious puberty followed by PAI. In both patients, the analysis of CYP21A2 gene encoding 21-hydroxylase was normal. As a second step, a targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) was performed in both patients using a customized panel of congenital endocrine disor ders.

Results: Case 1 had a new homozygous variant in the CYP11B1 gene (c.1121+5G>A). Mutations of this gene cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 11β-hydroxylase deficiency, an essential enzyme in the cortisol biosynthesis pathway. Case 2 showed a new hemizygous mutation in the NR0B1 gene (c.1091T>G), which encodes for DAX1 (dosage-sensitive sex reversal, adrenal hypoplasia congenita [AHC] and critical region on the X chromosome gene 1). NR0B1 mutations cause X-linked AHC and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Pathogenicity prediction software defined both mutations as probably damaging.

Conclusions: Peripheral precocious puberty was the atypical presentation of 2 rare genetic diseases. The use of NGS made the characterization of these 2 cases with similar clinical phenotypes caused by 2 different genetic defects possible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000492496DOI Listing
February 2019

Growth Trajectory in Children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: The Impact of Insulin Treatment and Metabolic Control.

Horm Res Paediatr 2018 16;89(3):172-177. Epub 2018 Feb 16.

Diabetes Unit, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Background: Linear growth was reported to be negatively affected by type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), in relation to disease duration and poor metabolic control. It is unclear whether a subtle growth failure still persists despite the optimization of therapy. Our aim was to analyse pubertal growth, adult height, and metabolic profile in a cohort of children with T1DM undergoing intensive insulin treatment by multiple daily injections or continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII).

Methods: One-hundred and four children (51 males) with prepubertal onset of T1DM were prospectively followed up to final height attainment.

Results: Age at puberty onset was 11.7 ± 1.1 years in males and 10.9 ± 1.3 in females. Age at adult height attainment was 16.4 ± 1.6 years in males and 14.1 ± 1.8 years in females. Pubertal height gain was 24.4 ± 4.9 cm in males and 19.0 ± 3.8 cm in females. HbA1c, HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels increased during puberty. HDL cholesterol levels were higher in patients treated with CSII. Height standard deviation score (SDS) at diagnosis (0.52 ± 1.04) was higher than target height SDS (0.01 ± 1.07), but declined afterwards, and both height SDS at puberty onset (0.22 ± 1.1) and adult height SDS (-0.1 ± 1.02) were not significantly different from target height SDS. BMI SDS showed a positive trend from diagnosis to puberty onset and stabilized later (-0.04 ± 1.4 at T1DM onset, 0.55 ± 2.1 at puberty onset, and 0.53 ± 2.1 at adult height attainment).

Conclusions: Although subtle abnormalities of growth still persist, the modern advancements of insulin therapy are able to normalize puberty and final height of children with T1DM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000486698DOI Listing
September 2018

Complete Scrotal Agenesis: New Surgical Approach Using Self-inflating Tissue Expander.

Urology 2018 Feb 6;112:169-171. Epub 2017 Dec 6.

Andrological Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Research Institute, Rome, Italy.

Complete agenesis of the scrotum is an extremely rare entity: to date, only 8 cases have been reported. The authors describe 1 case carrying a heterozygous genomic variant in exon 17 of the MAP3K1 gene, whose surgical treatment included osmotic prosthesis implant to achieve reconstruction of a new scrotum. By constant and gradual expansion, self-inflating prothesis avoids patient discomfort and facilitates orchiopexy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2017.10.015DOI Listing
February 2018

Lipoid congenital adrenal hyperplasia by steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (STAR) gene mutation in an Italian infant: an uncommon cause of adrenal insufficiency.

Ital J Pediatr 2017 Jun 20;43(1):57. Epub 2017 Jun 20.

Unit of Endocrinology and Diabetes, "Bambino Gesù" Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Piazza S. Onofrio 4, 00165, Rome, Italy.

Background: Lipoid congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) (OMIM n. 201710) is the most severe form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia. It is characterized by severe adrenal and gonadal steroidogenesis impairment due to a defect in the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone. Affected infants experience salt loss, but glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid replacement therapy enables long-term survival. Classic lipoid congenital adrenal hyperplasia is relatively common in Japan and Korea but extremely rare in Caucasian populations.

Case Presentation: A female infant of Italian origin came to our attention in late infancy with a clinical picture of acute adrenal insufficiency. The study of the STAR gene revealed two genomic variants c.562C > T and c.577C > T in compound heterozygosity. At the protein level, the two mutations determine the p.Arg188Cys variant (rs104894090) and the p.Arg193Ter variant (rs387907235), respectively. Sanger sequencing was used to confirm the identified variants and to perform familial study. The mother carried the p.Arg188Cys variant, while the father carried the p.Arg193Ter variant.

Conclusion: To our knowledge this is the second case of classic lipoid congenital adrenal hyperplasia reported in the Italian population. STAR mutations resulting in lipoid congenital adrenal hyperplasia should be considered all over the world in the differential diagnosis of newborn babies and infants with primary adrenal insufficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13052-017-0371-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5480121PMC
June 2017

Low Birthweight Increases the Likelihood of Severe Steatosis in Pediatric Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Am J Gastroenterol 2017 Aug 30;112(8):1277-1286. Epub 2017 May 30.

Hepato-Metabolic Disease Unit, "Bambino Gesù" Children's Hospital, IRCCS (Instituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico), Rome, Italy.

Objectives: Small for gestational age (SGA) is associated with an increased risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Our aim was to investigate the correlation of birthweight with the severity of liver damage in a large cohort of children with NAFLD.

Methods: Two hundred and eighty-eight consecutive Caucasian Italian overweight/obese children with biopsy-proven NAFLD were included in the study. We examined the relative association of each histological feature of NAFLD with metabolic alterations, insulin-resistance, I148M polymorphism in the patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 (PNPLA3) gene, and birthweight relative to gestational age.

Results: In the whole NAFLD cohort, 12.2% of patients were SGA, 62.8% appropriate for gestational age (AGA), and 25% large for gestational age (LGA). SGA children had a higher prevalence of severe steatosis (69%) and severe portal inflammation (14%) compared with the AGA and LGA groups. Notably, severe steatosis (>66%) was decreasing from SGA to AGA and LGA, whereas the prevalence of moderate steatosis (33-66%) was similar in three groups. The prevalence of type 1 NAFLD is higher in the LGA group with respect to the other two groups (25% vs.5.2% vs.9.4%), whereas the SGA group shows a higher prevalence of overlap type (85.8%) with respect to the LGA group (51.4%) but not compared with the AGA group (75%). At multivariable regression analysis, SGA at birth increased fourfold the likelihood of severe steatosis (odds ratio (OR) 4.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43-10.9, P=0.008) and threefold the likelihood of NAFLD Activity Score (NAS)≥5 (OR 2.98, 95% CI 1.06-8.33, P=0.037) independently of homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance and PNPLA3 genotype. The PNPLA3-CC wild-type genotype was the strongest independent predictor of the absence of significant fibrosis (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.13-0.52, P=<0.001).

Conclusions: In children with NAFLD, the risk of severe steatosis is increased by SGA at birth, independent of and in addition to other powerful risk factors (insulin-resistance and I148M variant of the PNPLA3 gene).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ajg.2017.140DOI Listing
August 2017

HYDROCORTISONE THERAPY AND GROWTH TRAJECTORY IN CHILDREN WITH CLASSICAL CONGENITAL ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA.

Endocr Pract 2017 May 22;23(5):546-556. Epub 2017 Feb 22.

Objective: Poor linear growth is one of the main concerns in children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). We aimed to analyze factors affecting growth trajectory in children with classical CAH.

Methods: Clinical records of children followed from infancy up to the end of growth at two Italian tertiary referral hospitals were reviewed. Fifty-seven patients (31 males), treated with hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone only, were included. Clinical observations were divided into three groups: 0 to 2 years, 172 observations; from 2 years to puberty onset, 813 observations; after puberty onset, 527 observations. Height velocity, pubertal growth spurt, and final height were evaluated as outcomes.

Results: Final height standard deviation score (SDS) was lower than target height SDS (-0.74 ± 1.1 versus -0.31 ± 1.01; P<.001). Target-adjusted final height SDS was -0.44 ± 1.8 in males and -0.13 ± 1.1 in females (P = .001). Total pubertal growth was 21.9 ± 7.3 cm in males and 19.2 ± 8.2 cm in females (P = .19). Hydrocortisone dose increased and height-velocity SDS decreased during puberty. At multivariable analysis, height-velocity SDS was adversely affected by hydrocortisone dose (P = .038) and directly related to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels (P = .023). Target-adjusted final-height SDS was adversely affected by hydrocortisone dose (P<.001) and positively related to mineralocorticoid therapy (P = .001) and ACTH levels (P = .02). Total pubertal growth (cm) was positively related to ACTH levels (P = .01).

Conclusion: Height outcome of CAH patients is now better than previously reported. During puberty, the lowest effective dose of hydrocortisone should be used to optimize pubertal growth spurt and final height.

Abbreviations: 17-OHP = 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone ACTH = adrenocorticotropic hormone BMI = body mass index CAH = congenital adrenal hyperplasia GH = growth hormone HPA = hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal PRA = plasma renin activity SDS = standard deviation score SV = simple virilizing SW = salt-wasting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4158/EP171751.ORDOI Listing
May 2017

Water Balance and 'Salt Wasting' in the First Year of Life: The Role of Aldosterone-Signaling Defects.

Horm Res Paediatr 2016 7;86(3):143-153. Epub 2016 Sep 7.

Unit of Endocrinology and Diabetes, 'Bambino Gesù' Children's Hospital, Rome, Italy.

In newborns and infants, dehydration and salt wasting represent a relatively common cause of admission to hospital and may result in life-threatening complications. Kidneys are responsible for electrolyte homoeostasis, but neonatal kidneys show low glomerular filtration rate and immaturity of the distal nephron, leading to reduced ability to concentrate urine. High extrarenal fluid losses often contribute to the increased occurrence of electrolyte disorders. Aldosterone is essential for sodium retention in the kidney, salivary glands, sweat glands and colon. A partial and transient aldosterone resistance is present in newborns and infants, thus reducing the capability of maintaining sodium balance in specific pathological conditions. The present review examines the mechanisms making infants more susceptible to salt wasting. Peculiar aspects of renal physiology in the first year of life and management of electrolyte disorders (i.e. sodium and potassium) are considered. Finally, inherited disorders associated with neonatal salt wasting are examined in detail. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000449057DOI Listing
April 2017

Congenital primary adrenal insufficiency and selective aldosterone defects presenting as salt-wasting in infancy: a single center 10-year experience.

Ital J Pediatr 2016 Aug 2;42(1):73. Epub 2016 Aug 2.

Unit of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Piazza S. Onofrio 4, 00165, Rome, Italy.

Background: Salt-wasting represents a relatively common cause of emergency admission in infants and may result in life-threatening complications. Neonatal kidneys show low glomerular filtration rate and immaturity of the distal nephron leading to reduced ability to concentrate urine.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted for infants hospitalized in a single Institution from 1(st) January 2006 to 31(st) December 2015. The selection criterion was represented by the referral to the Endocrinology Unit for hyponatremia (serum sodium <130 mEq/L) of suspected endocrine origin at admission.

Results: Fifty-one infants were identified. In nine infants (17.6 %) hyponatremia was related to unrecognized chronic gastrointestinal or renal salt losses or reduced sodium intake. In 10 infants (19.6 %) hyponatremia was related to central nervous system diseases. In 19 patients (37.3 %) the final diagnosis was congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). CAH was related to 21-hydroxylase deficiency in 18 patients, and to 3β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3βHSD) deficiency in one patient. Thirteen patients (25.5 %) were affected by different non-CAH salt-wasting forms of adrenal origin. Four familial cases of X-linked adrenal hypoplasia congenita due to NROB1 gene mutation were identified. Two unrelated girls showed aldosterone synthase deficiency due to mutation of the CYP11B2 gene. Two unrelated infants were affected by familial glucocorticoid deficiency due to MC2R gene mutations. One girl showed pseudohypoaldosteronism related to mutations of the SCNN1G gene encoding for the epithelial sodium channel. Transient pseudohypoaldosteronism was identified in two patients with renal malformations. In two infants the genetic aetiology was not identified.

Conclusions: Emergency management of infants presenting with salt wasting requires correction of water losses and treatment of electrolyte imbalances. Nevertheless, the differential diagnosis may be difficult in emergency settings, and sometimes hospitalized infants presenting with salt-wasting are immediately started on steroid therapy to avoid life-threatening complications, before the correct diagnosis is reached. Physicians involved in the management of infants with salt-wasting of suspected hormonal origin should remember that, whenever practicable, a blood sample for the essential hormonal investigations should be collected before starting steroid therapy, to guide the subsequent diagnostic procedures and in particular to address the analysis of candidate genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13052-016-0282-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4971679PMC
August 2016

A New Homozygous Frameshift Mutation in the HSD3B2 Gene in an Apparently Nonconsanguineous Italian Family.

Horm Res Paediatr 2016 16;86(1):53-61. Epub 2016 Apr 16.

Background: 3β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD) deficiency is a rare cause of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) caused by inactivating mutations in the HSD3B2 gene.

Patient And Methods: We report the molecular and structural analysis of the HSD3B2 gene in a 46,XY child born to apparently nonconsanguineous parents and presenting ambiguous genitalia and salt wasting. The steroid profile showed elevated concentrations of 17-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione, ACTH and plasma renin, but normal values of cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate. Unexpectedly, plasma aldosterone was high. For structural and functional analyses, the three-dimensional structure of 3β-HSD2 was modeled using the crystal structure of the short-chain dehydrogenase Gox2253 from Gluconobacter oxydans as a template.

Results: The direct DNA sequence of the child revealed a new homozygous frameshift mutation in exon 4 of the HSD3B2 gene, a single nucleotide deletion at codon 319 [GTC(Val)x2192;GC], yielding premature stop codon in position 367. Molecular homology modeling and secondary structure predictions suggested that the variant sequence might both alter the substrate-binding cleft and compromise the overall stability of the enzyme.

Conclusion: We have described the first HSD3B2 gene mutation in the Italian population and analyzed its effect in the context of the 3β-HSD2 structure and function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000444712DOI Listing
April 2017

Autoimmune diseases and celiac disease which came first: genotype or gluten?

Expert Rev Clin Immunol 2016 16;12(1):67-77. Epub 2015 Oct 16.

d 4 Scientific Directorate, Pediatric Hospital "Bambino Gesù", Rome, Italy.

Celiac disease (CD) is associated with several autoimmune diseases (ADs) and, in particular, thyroid autoimmunity (TA) and Type 1 diabetes (T1D). TA and T1D are defined as 'associated conditions' to CD (conditions at increased prevalence in CD but not directly related to gluten ingestion). The diagnosis of CD may precede or follow that of TA/T1D. To date, the available evidence suggests that the common genetic background is the main factor determining the high prevalence of the association. Conversely, no conclusive findings clarify whether extrinsic gluten-related factors (age at the first introduction, concomitant breastfeeding, length of gluten exposure and gluten-free diet) may link CD to the ADs. The aim of this review is to evaluate whether genetic background alone could explain the association between CD and ADs or if gluten-related factors ought to be considered. The pathophysiological links clarifying how the gluten-related factors could predispose to ADs will also be discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1586/1744666X.2016.1095091DOI Listing
August 2016

Cushing's Syndrome in a 6-month-old Boy: A Rare Side-effect due to Inadequate use of Topical Corticosteroids.

Acta Derm Venereol 2016 Jan;96(1):138-9

Unit of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, S. Anna Hospital of Ferrara, IT-44124 Ferrara, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2340/00015555-2151DOI Listing
January 2016

Early and progressive insulin resistance in young, non-obese cancer survivors treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2015 Sep 27;62(9):1650-5. Epub 2015 May 27.

Unit of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Background: It is unclear whether there is a causative relationship between the development of metabolic syndrome (MS) and increased risk of early cardiovascular morbidity in patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) during childhood. Early identification of risk factors associated with insulin resistance, MS, and abnormal glucose tolerance during childhood or adolescence in these patients could represent a useful tool for preventing cardiovascular disorders.

Procedure: In a single-center, prospective, descriptive, cross-sectional study, we studied 45 survivors of hematological malignancies (age: 13.9 ± 4.8 years) treated with HSCT before the age of 18 years and 90 matched healthy controls. We collected clinical, imaging, and laboratory data including oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

Results: 7/45 patients (15.6%) showed abnormal glucose tolerance at OGTT, 1/45 (2.2%) was obese, and none fulfilled the criteria for MS. A waist/height ratio >0.5 was associated with patients with abnormal glucose tolerance (85.7% of cases), compared to patients with normal glucose tolerance (42.1%) and controls (23.3%). In patients with abnormal glucose tolerance, use of total body irradiation (TBI) as conditioning regimen was more common, and time elapsed from HSCT was longer.

Conclusions: Patients treated with HSCT may develop insulin resistance early after transplantation. They do not show overt obesity, but have redistribution of fat tissue with central fat accumulation. The main factors associated with increased metabolic risk are TBI and time from HSCT. Evaluation of MS and glucose tolerance should be part of hormonal follow-up, which should be routinely proposed to these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.25603DOI Listing
September 2015

Endocrine implications of neurofibromatosis 1 in childhood.

Horm Res Paediatr 2015 5;83(4):232-41. Epub 2015 Feb 5.

Unit of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Rome, Italy.

In 1882, von Recklinghausen described a group of patients with multiple tumors arising from the 'endoneurium' of peripheral nerves, and called them 'neurofibromas'. The term von Recklinghausen disease was used up to the end of the 20th century, when the gene of neurofibromatosis (NF1) was cloned on chromosome 17q11.2. The gene product is a cytoplasmic protein termed neurofibromin, regulating proliferation and maturation of both glial and neuronal progenitors during embryogenesis. Loss of neurofibromin function determines the hyperactivation of the proto-oncogene RAS, leading to an increased risk of tumor formation, predominantly affecting the skin, bone and the nervous system. NF1 is clinically and genetically distinct from neurofibromatosis type 2, characterized by bilateral vestibular schwannomas and other nervous system tumors. An increased incidence of central precocious puberty, diencephalic syndrome, GH deficiency and GH hypersecretion has been described in NF1 children. These conditions are commonly complications of optic pathway gliomas (OPG) involving the hypothalamic and sellar region. Nevertheless, these endocrine disorders have been observed also in children without evidence of OPG at magnetic resonance imaging. Clinical and laboratory follow-up is crucial in all children with NF1, particularly in those with an OPG, aiming at the early identification of signs suggestive of secondary endocrine alterations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000369802DOI Listing
February 2016

Heart transplant and 2-year follow up in a child with generalized arterial calcification of infancy.

Eur J Pediatr 2014 Dec 1;173(12):1735-40. Epub 2014 Nov 1.

Department of Pathology and Molecular Histopathology, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome Piazza Sant'Onofrio, 4 00165, Rome, Italy,

Unlabelled: Generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI, OMIM 208000) and pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE, OMIM 264800) are rare autosomal-recessive disorders which represent the opposite ends of the same spectrum of pathologies characterized by progressive ectopic calcification and degeneration of elastic fibers at skin, eyes, and cardiovascular level. Patients with GACI suffer from hypertension, severe myocardial ischemia, and congestive heart failure and often die within 6 months of life. On the other end, PXE is associated with considerable morbidity, rarely with mortality. GACI and PXE are associated with biallelic mutations in ENPP1 and in ABCC6. We report the case of a 4-year-old Italian child submitted to heart transplant, at 18 months old, for end-stage heart failure due to extensive myocardial infarction of the left ventricle and diffuse coronary calcifications. The histology showed generalized arterial calcification and the molecular analysis identified mutations in ABCC6. Two years after transplantation, the child shows good clinical conditions and growth with no recurrence of calcium deposits in the heart.

Conclusion: Bisphosphonate therapy at present is the treatment of choice for systemic arterial involvement in GACI, and heart transplant has proven to be the definitive treatment in case with extensive myocardial infarction, as in our. Molecular analysis is mandatory for a complete diagnosis and familial counseling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00431-014-2447-7DOI Listing
December 2014

Sexual dimorphism in growth and insulin-like growth factor-I in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Growth Horm IGF Res 2014 Dec 17;24(6):256-9. Epub 2014 Aug 17.

Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; D.P.U.O. Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital-Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy.

Objective: Impaired linear growth and reduced IGF-I levels in children with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) have been related to poor metabolic control. The aim of this study was to identify additional factors which may negatively affect growth and IGF system in patients with T1DM.

Design: Ninety-one T1DM children (54 males, age=: 11.73±3years, disease duration=5.6±2.1years) were studied. All children were on intensive insulin therapy: 62 children were on multiple injection therapy (MI) and 29 children on continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII).

Results: Height velocity (HV) SDS and IGF-I levels were higher in females and in pubertal children [HV SDS: females=0.6±2.4 vs males=-0.45±2.3 (p=0.04); IGF-I SDS: females=-1.09±0.58 vs males=-1.4±0.6 (p=0.02); IGF-I/IGFBP-3 molar ratio: females=0.25±0.1 vs males=0.21±0.08 (p=0.04); IGF-I SDS: pre-pubertal=-1.58±0.46 vs pubertal=-1.15±0.65 (p<0.001); IGF-I/IGFBP-3 molar ratio: pre-pubertal=0.16±0.08 vs pubertal=0.26±0.09 (p<0.001)]. No differences between children on CSII or MI therapy were found. IGF-I SDS was positively related to C peptide level (p<0.001), puberty (p<0.001) and female gender (p=0.02) and negatively related to HbA1c (p=0.04). IGF-I/IGFBP-3 molar ratio was positively affected by C peptide level (p<0.001), puberty (p<0.001) and daily insulin dose (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Our results indicate that despite intensive insulin therapy, T1DM still negatively affects IGF-I secretion and linear growth. Growth impairment is more severe in males and primarily related to poor glycemic control and loss of the residual beta cell mass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ghir.2014.08.004DOI Listing
December 2014

Combined therapy with insulin and growth hormone in 17 patients with type-1 diabetes and growth disorders.

Horm Res Paediatr 2014 11;82(1):53-8. Epub 2014 Jun 11.

Department of Pediatrics, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy.

Background/aim: Combined growth hormone (GH) and insulin therapy is rarely prescribed by pediatric endocrinologists. We investigated the attitude of Italian physicians to prescribing that therapy in the case of short stature and type-1 diabetes (T1DM).

Methods: A questionnaire was sent and if a patient was identified, data on growth and diabetes management were collected.

Results: Data from 42 centers (84%) were obtained. Of these, 29 centers reported that the use of combined therapy was usually avoided. A total of 17 patients were treated in 13 centers (GH was started before T1DM onset in 9 patients and after the onset of T1DM in 8). Height SDS patterns during GH therapy in the 11 patients affected by GH deficiency ranged from -0.3 to +3.1 SDS. In the 8 diabetic patients in whom GH was added subsequently, mean insulin dose increased during the first 6 months of therapy from 0.7 ± 0.2 to 1.0 ± 0.2 U/kg (p = 0.004). HbA1c was unchanged during the first 6 months of combined therapy.

Conclusions: Most Italian physicians do not consider prescribing the combined GH-insulin therapy in diabetic children with growth problems. However, the results of the 17 patients identified would confirm that the combined therapy was feasible and only caused mild insulin resistance. GH therapy was effective in promoting growth in most patients and did not affect diabetes metabolic control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000360856DOI Listing
March 2015
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