Background Overgrowth syndromes are a group of conditions characterized by tall stature and advanced bone age. Some authors suggested that isolated hemi-hyperplasia represents a form of “partial overgrowth”. The aim of the present study is to study the serum levels of IGF-I, IGF-II, IGF-BP1, IGF-BP3 and ALS in a group of patients with overgrowth syndromes.
Patients and methods 13 patients with Beckwith Wiedeman syndrome (BWS), 6 patients with “ non-specific overgrowth” and 13 patients who showed isolated hemi-hyperplasia were enrolled in the study. A double number of controls for each group of patients was analyzed. The serum levels of growth hormone (GH), circulating insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I and IGF-II) as well as IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs), namely IGFBP1 and IGFBP3 (IRMA) and of the acid-labile-subunit (ALS) (ELISA) were measured.
Results IGF-II mean serum levels were significantly higher; in particular the results were follow: BWS (943+243 vs 472+176 P0.0001), “ non-specific overgrowth” (989+387 vs 449+149 p 0.001); Hemi-hyperplasia (892+163 vs 480+156 p 0.001). IGF-BP3 and ALS were significantly lower in all patients than in controls.
Conclusions The detection of high IGF-II serum levels in all the studied patients as compared to the control group might suggest a role of IGF-II in each of the studied conditions including isolated hemi-hyperplasia. The well-known association among IGF-II and the development of cancer suggests the importance of an accurate surveillance not only of the patients affected by BWS but also of patients with isolated hemi-hyperplasia and by “ non-specific overgrowth”.