Patients with the virilizing forms of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) need a life-long glucocorticoid replacement therapy and also an additional mineralocorticoid replacement in cases with the salt-wasting form of the disease. Glucocorticoids are reported to decrease the serum osteocalcin levels and to inhibit the effects of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I). To collect data on the age related patterns of osteocalcin and IGF-I production in patients with CAH, measurements of these compounds have been carried out in a considerably large sample of treated CAH patients and control subjects in childhood and adolescence. Data of 62 patients between 0.3-19 years of age were compared to the data of 188 control children. Osteocalcin and IGF-I were determined by radioimmunoassay. A lower than normal level of serum osteocalcin was found in both male and female patients at chronological ages above 11.6 and 9.6 years, respectively. Furthermore, no pubertal osteocalcin peak could be seen when data were evaluated according to the bone age. Serum IGF-I levels were higher in male CAH patients at the chronological age of 0.3-15.5 years and in female patients at the chronological age of 4.6-9.5 years. In pubertal years serum IGF-I concentrations were lower in CAH patients when data were evaluated according to the bone age. We conclude that serum osteocalcin is decreased during and after puberty in CAH patients on replacement doses of glucocorticoids. Normal to elevated serum levels of IGF-I in treated CAH cases suggest that the shorter final height of these patients may not be due to the decreased activity in the growth hormone-IGF-I axis, but rather to the advanced bone maturation and the premature epiphyseal fusion. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- Serum insulin-like growth factor I
- Serum osteocalcin
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism