The NIH experience with precocious puberty: diagnostic subgroups and response to short-term luteinizing hormone releasing hormone analogue therapy

J Pediatr. 1986 Jan;108(1):47-54. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(86)80767-3.


Between 1979 and 1983, 129 children (95 girls) with precocious puberty were referred to the National Institutes of Health and received treatment for at least 6 months with the long-acting LHRH analogue D-Trp6-Pro9-NEt-LHRH. The majority (107 of 129) of the children had central precocious puberty mediated by activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in association with hypothalamic hamartomas (24 of 107) or other central nervous system lesions (21 of 107), or idiopathic precocious puberty (62 of 107). Hypothalamic hamartomas or other central nervous system lesions were a frequent cause of central precocious puberty in girls (27 of 87), but idiopathic precocious puberty was still the most frequent diagnosis (63%). Idiopathic precocious puberty was uncommon in boys (6%). The patients with peripheral precocious puberty included six girls with McCune-Albright syndrome and six boys with familial male precocious puberty. These children had peripheral sex steroid secretion in the absence of hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis maturation. The children with combined peripheral and central precocious puberty included nine children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia and one girl with a virilizing adrenal tumor. In the patients with central precocious puberty or combined peripheral and central precocious puberty, LHRHa therapy caused suppression of gonadotropin and sex steroid levels (P less than 0.001), stabilization or regression of secondary sexual characteristics, and decreases in growth rate and in the rate of bone age maturation (P less than 0.005). Patients with peripheral precocious puberty, however, had no significant change in gonadotropin or sex steroid levels, growth rate, or the rate of bone age maturation, and no improvement in secondary sexual characteristics. Thus, LHRHa is an effective treatment of central precocious puberty and combined peripheral and central precocious puberty, but is ineffective in the therapy of peripheral precocious puberty.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Hyperplasia, Congenital / complications
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Female
  • Fibrous Dysplasia, Polyostotic / complications
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / administration & dosage
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Growth
  • Hamartoma / complications
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamic Neoplasms / complications
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Male
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Puberty, Precocious / classification*
  • Puberty, Precocious / drug therapy*
  • Puberty, Precocious / etiology
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sex Factors
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Triptorelin Pamoate* / analogs & derivatives*
  • United States


  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Triptorelin Pamoate
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Tryptal
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone