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The relationship between the olfactory bulb and precocious puberty: from the nose to the pituitary

Authors
  • Karaoglan, Murat
  • Çolakoğlu Er, Hale
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Publisher
Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Publication Date
Aug 05, 2019
Volume
32
Issue
9
Pages
1013–1021
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/jpem-2018-0534
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Background/objective The olfactory bulb (OB) and pubertal development have a close relationship as they share a common ontogenetic origin. The aim of this study was to analyze the potential relationship between precocious puberty (PP) in girls as a sign of early pubertal timing and their OB volume as an indicator of its functional activity. Design In the study group (n = 125), OB volume, pituitary height (PH), body mass index (BMI) and body surface (S) variables were retrospectively investigated in 49 girls included in the PP group and 76 healthy girls constituting the control group. Volumetric and length measurements were performed on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan by using manual segmentation of slices. Results The mean OB volume (73.41 ± 17.21 mm3) and PH (4.96 ± 1.01 mm) were significantly higher in the PP group (p = 0.001 and p = 0.001, respectively). The mean volume difference between the right and left bulbs (1.52 ± 1.87) was higher in the PP group (p = 0.03). The body surface (1.05 ± 0.16 m2) was larger in the PP group (p = 0.09). There was a high correlation between the OB volume and PH (r125 = 0.716). There was a moderate correlation between the body surface and OB volume (r125 = 654), and a weak correlation between the former (S) and the PH (r125 = 452). Conclusions This study showed that there is a strong correlation between increased OB volume and PH in cases with PP. It indicates that increased OB volume may be a strong clue that olfactory functions play a role in pubertal timing in humans, although it does not show definitive proof of a causal relationship.

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