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Ann Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Sep;22(3):183-188. doi: 10.6065/apem.2017.22.3.183. Epub 2017 Sep 28.

Diurnal variation of gonadotropin levels in girls with early stages of puberty.

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Department of Pediatrics, CHA Gumi Medical Center, CHA University, Gumi, Korea.
Department of Pediatrics, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University, Seongnam, Korea.
Department of Pediatrics, National Health Insurance Corporation Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea.



Pubertal gonadotropin secretion shows circadian pattern and the luteinizing hormone (LH) levels tend to rise in later stages of puberty in girls. We studied the usefulness of basal LH in the evaluation of central precocious puberty with emphasis on the influence of sampling time.


Medical records of 334 girls that underwent gonadotropin-releasing hormone stimulation test (GnRHST) were reviewed. Auxological and laboratory data were compared between those with early morning (EM, before 10 AM) and late morning/afternoon (LM/A, after 10 AM) basal samples.


Among those in sexual maturity rating (SMR) 2, EM samples showed higher basal LH (P=0.004) compare to LM/A samples, whereas those in SMR 3 showed no difference in LH levels between EM and LM/A samples. Among girls with pubertal response, EM group showed higher basal LH (P=0.031) and follicular stimulating hormone (P=0.008) than LM/A group. The EM basal LH was more closely related with the peak stimulated LH than the LM/A basal LH did (rs=0.871 vs. rs=0.524). The optimal basal LH cutoffs to predict a pubertal response to GnRHST were 0.11 IU/L with a sensitivity of 66.7% and a specificity of 78.7% in EM group, and 0.07 IU/L with a sensitivity of 60.0% and a specificity of 78.9% in LM/A group, respectively.


In girls with early stages of puberty, EM basal LH is a more sensitive screening tool than the LM/A basal LH. Diurnal variation should be considered in evaluating children with precocious puberty.


Gonadotropin-releasing hormone; Luteinizing hormone; Precocious puberty

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