Testing & Diagnosis for Precocious (Early) Puberty in Children

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How is precocious puberty diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination of your child, diagnosis of precocious puberty may include:

  • x-ray - a diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones and organs onto film. A bone x-ray may be performed to determine bone age.
  • measurement of important hormones including gonadotropins (LH and FSH), estradiol, testosterone and/or thyroid hormones
  • ultrasound (also called sonography) of the adrenal glands and gonads (ovaries and testes) - a diagnostic imaging technique which uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues and organs. These tests are used to view internal organs as they function, and to assess blood flow through various vessels.
  • gonadotropin-stimulating hormone (GnRH) stimulation test - This test can determine whether your child's precocious puberty is gonadotropin-dependent or gonadotropin-independent.
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
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