Endocrinology Original Paper

European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 154, Issue 10, pp 807-810

Effect of oestrogen/gestagen replacement therapy on liver enzymes in patients with Ullrich-Turner Syndrome

  • H. WemmeAffiliated withDepartment of Paediatrics, Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz
  • , J. PohlenzAffiliated withDepartment of Paediatrics, Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz
  • , W. SchönbergerAffiliated withDepartment of Paediatrics, Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz

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Abstract

The absence of breast development and the prevention of osteoporosis in Ullrich-Turner syndrome (UTS) require oestrogen/gestagen substitution therapy. In 8 out of 35 (23%) patients with UTS treated with conjugated equine oestrogens and cyclically with norethisterone acetate, the serum liver enzymes increased to conspicuous levels (AST 35; 20–73 U/l, ALT 92; 37–141 U/l, GGT 77; 25–227 U/l, [median; min-max]). These findings were compared with those in 41 tall girls who received a six-fold larger dose of conjugated equine oestrogens for the reduction of final height. None of these 41 girls showed abnormal serum liver enzyme levels. The conspicuous rise in serum liver enzyme levels occurred in the majority of the UTS patients before norethistherone acetate was added to the oestrogen replacement therapy. No essential morphological equivalent was found in liver sonography and biopsy studies. During the follow up the elevated serum liver enzyme levels showed reversibility when medication was temporarily discontinued and either a slow decrease or a steady state after therapy was continued.

Conclusion

Patients with UTS on oral oestrogen replacement therapy are more susceptible to develop increased serum liver enzyme levels as compared with eukaryotic females treated with the same oestrogen preparation for other disorders. As the underlying pathomechanism is unknown and adverse long-term effects cannot be ruled out, avoiding the portal vein and using the transdermal application of oestrogen may represent a viable solution to the problem.

Key words

Ullrich-Turner syndrome Liver enzymes Oestrogen replacement therapy