OBJECTIVE: Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs (GnRHa) are standard of care for the treatment of central precocious puberty (CPP). GnRHa have also been prescribed in other clinical settings with the hope of increasing adult stature, although evidence to support this practice is lacking. The degree to which GnRHa are being prescribed for indications other than CPP in routine clinical care has not been described. We sought to systematically examine GnRHa prescribing practices among the pediatric endocrinologists at our academic medical center.
METHODS: We reviewed medical records of children treated with GnRHa during a 6-year interval. Variables analyzed included gender, age at start of treatment, indication for therapy, and use of growth hormone as adjunctive treatment. Nonparametric analyses were utilized to compare treatment characteristics of those with CPP versus those without.
RESULTS: A total of 260 patients (82% female) aged 8.06 ± 2.68 years were identified. Of these, 191 (73.5%) were treated for CPP, whereas 69 (26.5%) were treated for normally timed puberty in the context of idiopathic short stature/poor predicted height (n = 37), growth hormone deficiency (n = 17), congenital adrenal hyperplasia (n = 10), primary hypothyroidism (n = 4), and developmental delay (n = 1). Of the 161 girls with CPP, GnRHa therapy was initiated at ≥8 years of age in 62 (39%).
CONCLUSION: Whereas most patients were treated for CPP, ~27% were treated for other indications. Of girls with CPP, 39% were treated at an age when benefit in terms of height is unlikely. This highlights the need for rigorous studies of GnRHa use for indications beyond CPP.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism