Plasma LH and FSH response to LRH and plasma testosterone levels in boys with irregular puberty
Dickerman, Z.; Bar-Haim, Y.; Prager-Lewin, R.; Kaufman, H.; Laron, Z.
Acta Endocrinologica 85(3): 459-464
Nineteen boys with irregular puberty (IP), defined as a discrepancy of two or more pubertal stages between the criteria for genitalia and that for pubic hair, were subjected to a standard LRH test (50 microng/m2, iv) and the response of gonadotrophins as well as the basal levels of plasma testosterone, LH and FSH were compared to those of boys with normal, regular puberty. When the results were plotted against the pubertal stage for genitalia (Pg), it was found that in the boys with IP the basal plasma testosterone levels were lower and the response of plasma LH to LRH stimulation lesser than in the controls. However, when these parameters were plotted against the pubertal stage for pubic hair (Ph) it was found, that in the boys with IP the plasma testosterone levels were significantly higher and the response of both LH and FSH stimulation greater than in the control group. It was concluded that irregular puberty in boys may be regarded as a normal variation. The delayed development of sexual hair and penile length, and retarded pubertal growth spurt and bone age maturation seen in these boys, with normal testicular development, may be explained by a temporary reduced peripheral sensitivity to androgens and a compensatory effort by the pituitary, manifested in increased secretion of LH and testosterone, relatively to their pubertal stage for pubic hair.