Prevalence of cranial MRI findings in girls with central precocious puberty: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Jul 26;31(7):701-710. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2018-0052.


Background Some pediatric endocrinologists recommend that girls with central precocious puberty (CPP) have cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed only if they are younger than 6 years of age. However, no practice guidelines exist. The objective of this review was to assess the frequency of intracranial lesions in girls with CPP. Content We searched six electronic databases (PubMed, Cochrane, Web of Science, SCOPUS, ProQuest, and Dissertation & Theses) from 1990 through December 2015. We included studies on girls with CPP and MRI data. Case reports, case series, studies from the same author/group with the same patient population, and studies with conditions predisposing to CPP were excluded. Two physicians independently reviewed the search results and extracted data. A random-effects model was used to obtain pooled prevalence of positive MRI's across studies. Heterogeneity among studies was evaluated with the Q-statistic. Publication bias was assessed with funnel plots and Egger's test. Pooled prevalence was computed by age group. A linear regression assessed the relationship between intracranial lesion prevalence and healthcare availability. We included 15 studies with a total of 1853 girls <8 year old evaluated for CPP. Summary The pooled prevalence from all studies was 0.09 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.06-0.12]. There was a significant heterogeneity, indicating the appropriateness of a random effects model in computing pooled prevalence. In the few studies stratified by age group, pooled prevalence was 25% in girls <6 years vs. 3% in girls 6-8 of age. Outlook Our results support that the benefit of routine MRIs in girls with CPP older than 6 years of age without any neurological concerns is not clear-cut.

Keywords: CPP and neuroimaging; central precocious puberty (CPP) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); precocious puberty and neuroimaging; precocious puberty work-up.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Puberty, Precocious / physiopathology*