The clinical evaluation of prepubertal boys and girls for evidence of early sexual precocity is an important adjunct to the clinical evaluation of these children with a new diagnosis of early-onset behavior disorder.
The cause of the precocious behavior and the pre-pubertal changes may be associated, at least in some patients, with the endocrine/gonadal imbalance. We found that the level of testosterone is significantly reduced in pre-pubertal boys with precocious behavior compared to non-precocious boys, and levels of estradiol are also significantly reduced in the precocious patients, with regard to age-matched controls. It is possible that the endocrine/gonadal imbalance induced by precocious behavior may be a causally related effect as an explanation for development of the behavior.
In a survey conducted by this center, there was surprisingly little consensus between the various medical providers regarding the indications for and contraindications for psychosocial and/or educational intervention by the child psychiatrist. Results from a recent clinical trial are not at all surprising in the light of the absence of a standardized, evidence-based approach to the treatment of sexual precocity, and the fact that the approach depends largely on the personal preferences of the treating physician. Further studies are needed to confirm the usefulness of the current recommendations.
Even if pre-pubertal male patients with sexual precocity can be satisfied, their sexual function is not good. If sexual precocity cannot be improved, it may lead to dissatisfaction for the patients.
The relationship between child sexual abuse and early puberty may be the result of other contributory variables. The increased sexual precocity exhibited by abused boys may be secondary to the psychological trauma associated with sexual abuse rather than a direct causal link.
Each year, over 1 in 10 males and 2 in 10 females will have sex before age 14. This has important ramifications as it has been shown that early sexual activity can lead to higher levels of psychopathology.
There is evidence of clinical activity of fulvestrant on the basis of two small studies. Further trials evaluating the usefulness and safety of fulvestrant are ongoing and are being reported in the literature.
Results from a recent paper suggests that if a patient has been diagnosed with early stage endometrioid adenocarcinoma of the endometrium and has not been treated with any therapy before, then a combination of fulvestrant is more effective for down-staging the disease if used in combination with adjuvant radiotherapy.
Current information in the literature suggests that clinical trial participation in a sexual precocity treatment strategy may reduce premature sexual activity when there is a significant need for intervention.
Fulvestrant demonstrated no superiority or inferiority in secondary or primary end points compared to a placebo or a placebo plus low-dose methotrexate in a randomized controlled trial for children and adolescents at risks for endocrine induced growth and puberty.
There has been a recent interest in using hormonal therapy for treating early onset sexual precocity. We haven't found conclusive evidence from high-quality clinical trials, but there is evidence of better quality from small, uncontrolled studies. There have been some randomized placebo controlled trials so these treatments can be further researched in terms of safety and efficacy. There are also potential treatments that are non-pharmaceutical based that offer promise, but not yet have been scientifically researched. This includes nutritional therapy and treatment of sexual precocity using a combination of hormones. The studies on these treatments have been inconclusive, but there is evidence of better quality from some small, uncontrolled studies.
The major risk factor for sexual precocity is familial precocity. Other risk factors included having been a victim of a sexual crime (especially with a woman), having been sexually abused, having had a history of alcohol use or prostitution, and having been a victim of incest. The second-leading risk factor is socioeconomic factors, especially of having been the victim of maltreatment in childhood. These risk factors are amenable to prevention interventions.