We undertook a comprehensive study of children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF-1) cared for in a large multidisciplinary clinic to determine the prevalence of precocious puberty and its relationship to optic pathway tumors (OPTs). Precocious puberty was diagnosed in 7 of 219 children with NF-1 (5 boys and 2 girls) examined between Jan. 1, 1985, and April 20, 1993. All seven children had OPTs involving the optic chiasm; they represented 39% of children with NF-1 and chiasmal tumors (95% confidence interval, 17% to 64%). Eleven prepubertal children (aged 2 to 10 years) with NF-1 and OPTs, and age- and sex-matched NF-1 control subjects without OPTs, underwent luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) stimulation tests. Two boys with OPTs had pubertal luteinizing hormone (LH) responses, and testosterone levels >10 ng/dl. Basal LH levels were also elevated in these two boys when tested with a very sensitive immunochemiluminometric assay. None of the children without an OPT had either a pubertal response to LH-RH or an elevated basal LH level. We conclude that precocious puberty in children with NF-1 is found exclusively in those who have OPTs involving the optic chiasm; it is a common complication in those children. With the use of a highly sensitive LH assay, biochemical evidence of hypothalamic- pituitary-gonadal axis activation may be demonstrated, even without provocative testing. (J PEDIATR 1995;126:364-7).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health