Background/Objective: The olfactory bulb (OB) and pubertal development have a close relationship as they share a common ontogenetic origin. The aim of this study is to analyze the potential relationship between the precocious puberty in girls as a sign of early pubertal timing and their OB volume as an indicator of its functional activity.
Design: In the study group (n=125), OB volume, pituitary height, body mass index (BMI), body surface (S) variables were retrospectively investigated in 49 girls included in the precocious puberty (PP) group and 76 healthy girls constituting the control group. Volumetric and length measurements were performed on MRI scan by using manual segmentation of slices.
Results: Mean OB volume (73.41±17.21 mm3) and pituitary height (4.96±1.01mm) were significantly higher in the PP group (P=0.001, P=0.001, respectively). The mean volume difference between the right and left bulbs (1.52±1.87) was higher in the PP group (P=0.03). Body surface (1.05±0.16 m2) was larger in the PP group (P=0.09). There was a high correlation between OB volume and pituitary height (r125=0.716). There was a moderate correlation between body surface and OB volume (r125=654), and a weak correlation between the former (S) and pituitary height (r125=452).
Conclusion: This study has shown a marked increase in OB volume and an increase in pituitary height in PP and a strong correlation between these two variables which indicates that OB, i.e. the pathway from the nose to the brain, still has an effective functioning role in the underlying mechanisms of pubertal timing.
19 - 21 Sep 2019
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology