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Open access

Thomas Reinehr, Alberto Sánchez-Guijo, Nina Lass and Stefan A Wudy

Objective

Little information is available on the steroid sulfates profile in obese children. Therefore, we examined whether sulfated steroids are linked with weight status and associated comorbidities in obese children.

Methods

We analyzed 66 obese children (mean age 10.5 ± 2.5 years, 57.6% female, 53.9% prepubertal, mean BMI 27.0 ± 4.6 kg/m2, 50% with BMI-SDS reduction >0.5, 50% without BMI-SDS reduction) who participated in an outpatient 1-year intervention program based on exercise, behavior and nutrition therapy. We measured intact sulfated steroids (cholesterol sulfate (CS), pregnenolone sulfate (PregS), 17αOH pregnenolone sulfate (17OH-PregS), 16αOH dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (16OH-DHEAS), DHEAS, androstenediol-3-sulfate, androsterone sulfate and epiandrosterone sulfate) by LC–MS/MS, and insulin resistance index HOMA, lipids, blood pressure at baseline and 1 year later.

Results

All sulfated steroids except 17OH-PregS, 16OH-DHEAS, androsterone sulfate and epiandrosterone sulfate were higher in boys compared to girls. Concentrations of CS before intervention were higher in children who lost weight. After 1 year of treatment, both groups showed increased levels of DHEAS, 16OH-DHEAS and androstenediol-3-sulfate, but PregS was only increased in children with weight loss. None of the steroid sulfates was significantly related to cardiovascular risk factors or HOMA except 17OH-PregS, which was associated with systolic blood pressure both in cross-sectional (β-coefficient: 0.09 ± 0.07, P = 0.020) and longitudinal analyses (β-coefficient: 0.06 ± 0.04, P = 0.013) in multiple linear regression analyses.

Conclusions

Since higher steroid sulfation capacity was associated with successful weight intervention in children disruption of sulfation may be associated with difficulties to lose weight. Future studies are necessary to prove this hypothesis.

Open access

Thomas Reinehr, Martin Carlsson, Dionisios Chrysis and Cecilia Camacho-Hübner

Background

The precision of adult height prediction by bone age determination in children with idiopathic growth hormone deficiency (IGHD) is unknown.

Methods

The near adult height (NAH) of patients with IGHD in the KIGS database was compared retrospectively to adult height prediction calculated by the Bayley–Pinneau (BP) prediction based on bone age by Greulich–Pyle (GP) in 315 children and based on the Tanner-Whitehouse 2 (TW2) method in 121 children. Multiple linear regression analyses adjusted for age at GH start, age at puberty, mean dose and years of of GH treatment, and maximum GH peak in stimulation test were calculated.

Results

The mean underestimation of adult height based on the BP method was at baseline 4.1 ± 0.7 cm in girls and 6.1 ± 0.6 cm in boys, at 1 year of GH treatment 2.5 ± 0.5 cm in girls and 0.9 ± 0.4 cm in boys, while at last bone age determination adult height was overestimated in mean by 0.4 ± 0.6 cm in girls and 3.8 ± 0.5 cm in boys. The mean underestimation of adult height based on the TW2 method was at baseline 5.3 ± 2.0 cm in girls and 7.9 ± 0.8 cm in boys, at 1 year of GH treatment adult height was overestimated in girls 0.1 ± 0.6 cm in girls and underestimated 4.1 ± 0.4 cm in boys, while at last bone age determination adult height was overestimated in mean by 3.1 ± 1.5 cm in girls and 3.6 ± 0.8 cm in boys.

Conclusions

Height prediction by BP and TW2 at onset of GH treatment underestimates adult height in prepubertal IGHD children, while in mean 6 years after onset of GH treatment these prediction methods overestimated adult height.

Open access

Thomas Reinehr, Alexandra Kulle, Juliane Rothermel, Caroline Knop-Schmenn, Nina Lass, Christina Bosse and Paul-Martin Holterhus

Objective

The underlying mechanisms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are not fully understood yet. The aim of the study was to get functional insights into the regulation of steroid hormones in PCOS by steroid metabolomics.

Design

This is a longitudinal study of changes of steroid hormones in 40 obese girls aged 13–16 years (50% with PCOS) participating in a 1-year lifestyle intervention. Girls with and without PCOS were matched to age, BMI and change of weight status.

Methods

We measured progesterone, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, 17-hydroxyprogenolon, 11-deoxycorticosterone, 21-deoxycorticosterone, deoxycorticosterone, corticosterone, 11-deoxycortisol, cortisol, cortisone, androstenedione, testosterone, dehydroepiandrostendione-sulfate (DHEA-S), estrone and estradiol by LC–MS/MS steroid profiling at baseline and one year later.

Results

At baseline, obese PCOS girls demonstrated significantly higher androstenedione and testosterone concentrations compared to obese girls without PCOS, whereas the other steroid hormones including glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, estrogens and precursors of androgens did not differ significantly. Weight loss in obese PCOS girls was associated with a significant decrease of testosterone, androstenedione, DHEA-S, cortisol and corticosterone concentrations. Weight loss in obese non-PCOS girls was associated with a significant decrease of DHEA-S, cortisol and corticosterone concentrations, whereas no significant changes of testosterone and androstenedione concentrations could be observed. Without weight loss, no significant changes of steroid hormones were measured except an increase of estradiol in obese PCOS girls without weight loss.

Conclusions

The key steroid hormones in obese adolescents with PCOS are androstenedione and testosterone, whereas glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, estrogens and precursors of androgens did not differ between obese girls with and without PCOS.