BACKGROUND: Data from developed countries about
precocious puberty are abundant; data from developing countries
are limited. Causes are different, and diagnostic and treatment
possibilities are very expensive. The present study aimed to
display the spectrum of initial presentation and aetiology among
children with precocious puberty and to assess any association
between th e clinical features and the underlying cause of the
PATIENTS AND METHOD: Forty-three girls and seven boys
with precocious puberty were diagnosed at the Endocrine Clinic
of Jordan University Hospital and at The National
Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Genetics, Amman,
Jordan, between the 1984 and 2003.
RESULTS: Mean age for the girls with precocious puberty
was 4.1 years +/- 2.5 SD and for the boys was 2.4 years +/- 1.9
SD. Among the girls, 21% presented with breast development only,
9% with pubic hair appearance only and 70% with multiple signs.
All the boys presented with pubic hair appearance and enlarged
genitalia. Organic causes for precocious puberty were detected
in 42% of the girls and in all the boys. Idiopathic precocious
puberty was more common among the girls presenting with breast
development only (89%) compared with those presenting with
multiple presenting signs (50%), and also was more common among
girls presenting between 6 and 8 years (82%) than among those
presenting < 6 years of age (42%). Congenital adrenal
hyperplasia was diagnosed in four boys and four girls, and
hypothyroidism in three girls.
CONCLUSION: Precocious puberty in the girls was usually
of idiopathic origin when it presented with breast development
only and at age older than 6 years. Congenital adrenal
hyperplasia and hypothyroidism could represent important causes
for precocious puberty in our community.
The National Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Genetics,