Abnormalities of GH secretion in a young girl with Floating-Harbor syndrome
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We present a 9.1-year-old girl of Calabrian (Italy) ancestry, with clinical features (cranio- facial dysmorphism, short stature with delayed bone age and speech delay) suggesting the diagnosis of Floating-Harbor syndrome (FHS). Physical examination showed: height 113.9 cm (−2.9 SD), with a parent’s target of 156.2 cm (+1.0 SD), weight 20.7 kg, BMI 16.0 (−0.04 SD), and many phenotypic abnormalities: long eyelashes, large bulbous nose with broad nasal bridge, short philtrum, moderately broad mouth, tooth folding and malocclusion, posteriorly rotated ears, low posterior hair line, short neck, clinodactyly of the 5th finger and hyperextensible finger joints. Diffused hyperpigmentation and hypertrichosis with sporadic pubic terminal hairs, but neither clitoromegaly nor other signs of hyperandrogenism and/or precocious puberty, were observed (T1, P1). Carpal bone evaluation showed a delayed bone age (TW2: 5–5/10, −3.6 yr) and the statural age/bone age ratio was 1.1. Other dysmorphic syndromes were excluded on the basis of clinical evidence, also evaluated by a computer-assisted search (P.O.S.S.U.M. version 3.5, 1992). Analysis of chromosome 22 by the FISH method, using specific probes Cos29 and Tuple1, excluded microdeletions in the region 22q11.2, typical of Velo-cardio-facial syndrome. In this case, we report the impairment of serum GH responsiveness (GH baseline values: 0.2–1.9 ng/ml) to the administration of oral 150 μg clonidine [peak 4.7 ng/ml, normal values (nv)>10 ng/ml] and oral 4 mg dexamethasone (8.1 ng/ml, nv>10 ng/ml). Moreover, the evaluation of spontaneous 24-h GH secretion (Carmeda AB, Stockholm, Sweden) showed low mean GH levels (1.75 ng/ml, nv>3.0 ng/ml), with a maximum sleep-related peak of 2.8 ng/ml. Serum IGF-1 values were in the low-normal range (80–176 ng/ml, nv 133–626 ng/ml). While in FHS the cranio-facial features minimize with advancement of age, the impairment of growth velocity is permanent and results in severe dwarfism. In our case, treatment with recombinant GH (0.10 U/kg/day), administered by a needle-free device, induced a dramatic increase of growth velocity, increasing the height from −2.8 to −1.9 SD after 18 months, thus indirectly confirming a role of GH deficiency in the pathogenesis of FHS dwarfism.
Key wordsDwarfism dysmorphism Floating-Harbor growth hormone neurosecretory dysfunction
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