Diagnosis of Precocious Puberty in Girls
Rossella Gaudino1, Valeria Calcaterra2, Giovanni Farello3, Manuela Gasparri4, Claudio Maria Monti5, Elena Bozzola6, Alberto Villani6 and Mauro Bozzola7
1Department of Surgery, Dentistry, Pediatrics and Gynecology, Section of Pediatrics, University of Verona, Italy; 2Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, Pediatrics and Adolescent Care Unit, University of Pavia and Children’s Hospital “Vittore Buzzi”, Milano, Italy; 3Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, Pediatric Unit, University of L’Aquila, Italy; 4Department of Pediatrics, San Paolo Hospital, Milan, Italy; 5Adolfo Ferrata Medical Library, University of Pavia, Italy; 6Department of Pediatrics, Unit of Pediatric and Infectious Diseases, Bambino Gesù Children Hospital IRCCS, Rome, Italy; 7University of Pavia and Onlus Il bambino e il suo pediatra, via XX Settembre 28, 28066 Galliate (Novara), Italy
Abstract: Puberty is one of the most astonishing periods of human life, when significant physical alterations occur along with psychosocial maturation. Precocious Puberty (PP) is defined as the appearance and progressive development of secondary sexual characteristics at a younger age than the general population, i.e. for Caucasian girls before 8 years of age. Untreated precocious puberty usually leads to short stature and can also cause significant emotional and behavioral issues. In recent years, an increased incidence of PP has been found in many countries although several studies now suggest that this trend has slowed down over the last decade in most industrialized countries, while persisting in other countries. Some girls with idiopathic precocious puberty may also have slowly progressive pubertal development without deterioration of their predicted height over a 2-year follow-up period. It is important to determine which girls to treat and the role of the clinician remains crucial. The clinician also needs to be familiar with the terminology of pubertal progression.
The aim of this review was to examine the diagnosis of central precocious puberty (CPP) taking in account clinical practice and international literature.
Keywords: Puberty, Thelarche, Precocious puberty, Pubertal progression, Early puberty, Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), GnRH agonists.