European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 154, Issue 5, pp 346–352 | Cite as

Follow up of growth and steroids in premature adrenarche

  • A. Pere
  • J. Perheentupa
  • M. Peter
  • R. Voutilainen
Endocrinology Original Paper


In a follow up study of 34 patients with premature adrenarche we examined serum adrenal androgen levels and growth. The majority (28/34) showed an upward bend in the growth curve which, at the mean age of 2.3 years, preceded other signs of adrenarche on average by 3.8 years. Pubertal growth spurt was missing or reduced in 50% of the patients (8/16), however, final height did not differ from that expected from parental heights. Adrenal androgens did not remain elevated at adolescence. The mean age at menarche for all the girls was 0.5 years younger than in the general population.


Our findings imply that premature adrenarche may start earlier than previously recognized. Compared to ordinary growth these children seen to use a greater part of their potential for adult height already at that early age.

Key words

Premature adrenarche Growth Puberty Menarche Adrenal androgens 







dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate


parent-specific expected height standard deviation score


final height


final height standard deviation score




premature adrenarche


pubic hair stage


standard deviation score


sex hormone-binding globulin




relative weight expressed as the percentage deviation from the median weight for height and sex




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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Pere
    • 1
  • J. Perheentupa
    • 1
  • M. Peter
    • 2
  • R. Voutilainen
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Children's HospitalUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of KielKielGermany
  3. 3.Children's HospitalUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of KuopioKuopioFinland

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