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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 93-96

Linear growth and endocrine function in children with ataxia telangiectasia


1 Department of Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medical College, State of Qatar; Department of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Allergy-Immunology, Doha, Qatar
2 Department of Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medical College, State of Qatar; Department of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Allergy-Immunology; Department of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Endocrinology, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
3 Pediatric and Adolescent Outpatient Clinic, Private Accredited Hospital Quisisana Hospital, Ferrara, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Ashraf Soliman
Department of Pediatrics, Hamad General Hospital, P. O. Box 3050, Doha, Qatar

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.145079

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Introduction: Ataxia telangiectasia (AT) is a rare, genetic, primary immune deficiency disease characterized by immunodeficiency and neurological manifestations, with an increased tendency to infection, malignancy, and autoimmune diseases. Both growth delay and endocrine abnormalities are occasionally reported in these patients. Patients and Methods: We studied growth parameters height (Ht), weight, body mass index (BMI) and calculated the Ht standard deviation scores (HtSDS) of 13 patients (age 7.7 ± 3.5 years-age range: 3-14.5 years) with AT in relation to their mid-parental Ht SDS (MPHtSDS). We measured their serum calcium (Ca), phosphorus (PO4), alkaline phosphatase, alanine transferase (ALT), serum ferritin, creatinine and albumin concentrations. Endocrine investigations included the assessment of serum free thyroxine (FT4), thyrotropin (TSH), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and morning cortisol. Complete blood count and serum immunoglobulins (IgG, IgM and IgA antibodies) were also measured. Growth data were correlated to hormonal and immune data. Results: About 31% of patients with AT had short stature (HtSDS <−2). However, their MPHtSDS denoted that their short stature was familial because four out of 13 had MPHtSDS <−2. They had low BMI, and two of them had low serum albumin and IGF-I, denoting malnutrition or disturbed growth hormone secretion. Elevated serum ALT and ferritin in some patients suggest immune-related inflammation in the liver. 30% of patients had high TSH, two of them had low FT4 diagnosing overt (15%) and sub-clinical (15%) hypothyroidism. Anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies were high in two out of 13 patients denoting immune-related thyroid aggression. Eight out of 13 patients had Vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/ml) however, their serum Ca and PO 4 levels were in the normal range. One adolescent girl (14.5 years) had hyper-gonadotropic hypogonadism (low estradiol and high follicle stimulating hormone). All patients had normal 8 AM cortisol and renal function. None of the growth parameters were correlated with the IgG, IgM or IgA levels. In summary: Patients with AT had a high prevalence of growth retardation and endocrine dysfunction in the form of low IGF-I, overt and subclinical hypothyroidism and hypogonadism. Physicians should be aware of these possible endocrinopathies for an early diagnosis and proper treatment.


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