Pituitary-Gonadal Response to Short-term Pulsatile Luteinizing Hormone-Releasing Hormone Administration in Young Thalassemic Patients

  • M. Giusti
  • S. Valenti
  • P. G. Mori
  • R. Guido
  • C. Micalizzi
  • F. Perfumo
  • G. Giordano


Delayed puberty is one of the most common endocrine problems in severe thalassemia [1]. Because of its clinical and psychological manifestations it remains a serious problem, especially for male patients. Impaired secretion of both luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulation hormone after LH-releasing hormone (LHRH) and, to a lesser extent, a decrease in sex-steroid secretion have been ascribed to pituitary and/or testicular damage by chronic iron overload [2]. However, because pubertal changes are linked to an increase in hypothalamic LHRH activity [3], a defect in the central operator of pubertal activation in thalassemia can also be hypothesized. On the other hand, hypothalamic dysfunction has been suggested in the early stage of genetic hemochromatosis [4]. An impairment in LHRH discharge has been recently described in uremic boys, in whom delayed puberty is a common finding [5], and short-term pulsatile LHRH administration seems to restore normal pituitary-gonadal secretion in uremic boys with delayed puberty [5]. We studied the effect of short-term pulsatile LHRH administration in a group of thalassemic patients with delayed or disordered puberty in order to evaluate the degree of hypothalamic involvement.


Luteinizing Hormone Testicular Volume Luteinizing Hormone Secretion Hypothalamic Dysfunction Hypothalamic Involvement 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Giusti
  • S. Valenti
  • P. G. Mori
  • R. Guido
  • C. Micalizzi
  • F. Perfumo
  • G. Giordano

There are no affiliations available

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