Background: Small for gestational age (SGA) children have reportedly increased DHEAS levels during prepubertal years. However, steroid hormones have not been followed longitudinally in a healthy population compared to body composition.
Aims and objectives: To evaluate steroid hormone patterns in prepubertal children correlated to visceral fat measures.
Methods: Body composition was investigated with magnetic resonance (MR) of truncal fat (subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue). Serum steroids were analyzed by mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) in samples taken at 89 in the morning. 33 (16 SGA) slightly preterm boys (gestational age 3337 weeks) were recruited at birth and followed with MR and steroid measurements at 5, 7 and 10 years of age. Three SGA had pubic hair at 10 years of age but none testes >2 ml.
Results: With exception to testosterone, there was a wide range of individual steroid levels during all years, and this increased over time. At 5 years cortisol ranged 157388 nmol/l, cortison 5096 nmol/l, 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17OH) 0.121.7 nmol/l, androstenedione 0.020.51 nmol/l and DHEAS 0.021.6 μmol/l. At 7 years, the mean levels of cortisol and cortisone were unchanged, but the range increased for cortisol (96607). Contrary to this, there was no increase in range but a doubling of mean serum levels for 17OH, androstenedione and testosterone (all P<0.05) and almost three times for DHEAS (P<0.01). At ten years of age, the levels of 17OH did not increase further, but androstenedione, DHEAS and testosterone doubled in all boys (P<0.01 for all). Visceral fat did not correlate to cortisol, cortisone, 17OH or DHEAS. Mean DHEAS levels at 10 years were higher in SGA (2.17) compared to AGA (1.77) (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Longitudinal steroid patterns differ between boys born AGA and SGA, with signs of an earlier adrenarche in SGA boys. Prepuberty, no substantial correlations were found between visceral fat and steroid hormones.
01 - 03 Oct 2015
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology