What causes precocious puberty?

Updated: May 03, 2021
  • Author: Harsh Grewal, MD, FACS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Robert K Minkes, MD, PhD  more...
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Early onset of puberty is more common in girls than in boys and is predominantly mediated by premature activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Central precocious puberty may be caused by hypothalamic hamartomas, trauma, or central nervous system (CNS) lesions; however, it is most commonly idiopathic. Treatment involves continuous administration of exogenous gonadotropins.

Peripheral precocious puberty is due to sex steroid secretion independent of gonadotropin release; causes include McCune-Albright syndrome.

When precocious puberty is suspected, tests for luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine (T4), testosterone, and estradiol should be performed.

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