Autonomous growth hormone secretion due to McCune Albright syndrome in paediatric age group: an ominous triad

Endocrine. 2023 Jul;81(1):149-159. doi: 10.1007/s12020-023-03333-7. Epub 2023 Mar 6.


Purpose: The current study aimed to report cases of McCune Albright syndrome (MAS) with growth hormone (GH) hyper secretion along with a systematic review of literature to elucidate challenges and intricacies in its diagnosis and management.

Methods: It was a single centre study carried out in individuals with MAS and autonomous GH secretion (AGHS). In addition, a systematic search of literature across three databases (PubMed, Scopus and EMBASE) was performed from inception until May 31, 2021 to identify cases of MAS with AGHS in the pediatric age group (<18 years).

Results: Three cases from authors centre and 42 cases identified from systematic literature review were analysed. Precocious puberty was the most common presenting endocrinopathy seen in 56.8% (25/44) cases, followed by hyperthyroidism (10/45), hypophosphatemia (4/45), and hypercortisolism (2/45). Cranio-facial fibrous dysplasia (CFFD) was seen in all while polyostotic fibrous dysplasia and Café au lait macule was seen in 40/45 (88.9%) and 35/45 (77.8%), respectively. Pituitary adenoma (58.3% microadenoma) was localized in 53.3% (24/45) cases on pituitary imaging. Biochemical and clinical remission of AGHS was achieved in 61.5% (24/45) cases with medical therapy.

Conclusion: Diagnosing AGHS in MAS is challenging because of concomitant presence of CFFD, non-GH endocrinopathies associated height spurt and elevated serum IGF-1. GH-GTT should be performed in presence of elevated growth velocity and serum IGF-1 (>1 X ULN) despite adequate control of non-GH endocrinopathies. Medical management can lead to disease control in substantial number of cases and often entails use of multiple agents.

Keywords: Fibrous dysplasia; McCune Albright syndrome; Paediatric acromegaly; Precocious puberty.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma* / complications
  • Child
  • Fibrous Dysplasia, Polyostotic* / complications
  • Fibrous Dysplasia, Polyostotic* / diagnosis
  • Fibrous Dysplasia, Polyostotic* / drug therapy
  • Growth Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Pituitary Neoplasms* / complications


  • Growth Hormone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I