Adrenarche in Silver-Russell Syndrome: Timing and Consequences

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Premature adrenarche has been reported to be frequent in Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS), but systematic studies are lacking. Here, we studied the prevalence of early adrenarche in SRS, potential predictors, and consequences based on cases with long-term follow-up.

Design and Setting:

This retrospective longitudinal single-center study included 62 patients with SRS (34 boys) with documented age at adrenarche and positive Netchine-Harbison clinical score who were seen during the past 20 years with a median follow-up of 12.8 years. Clinical and biochemical characteristics were collected from patient records. Adrenarche was defined by reaching a serum dehydroepiandrosterone concentration >500 ng/mL.


Boys reached adrenarche at a median age of 9.2 years (quartiles: 7.6, 10.9 years) and pubarche at a median age of 11.7 years (quartiles: 10.7, 12.8 years). Girls reached adrenarche at a median age of 8.1 years (quartiles: 6.6, 10.1 years) and pubarche at a median age of 9.8 years (quartiles: 8.3, 10.8). Premature adrenarche occurred in 13% of the patients. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that early adrenarche was associated with early initiation of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) treatment (P = 0.0024 in boys; P = 0.0195 in girls), but not with the Netchine-Harbison clinical score (P > 0.25). Response to rhGH treatment (median dose, 50 μg/kg/d) and adult height (n = 43) were not compromised by early adrenarche.


Early or premature adrenarche was more frequent in SRS than in the general population and was associated with early age at initiation of rhGH treatment. Response to rhGH treatment and adult height were not compromised by early adrenarche.

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