How is Central Precocious
Puberty (CPP) Diagnosed?
Medical history and physical exam1
In order to diagnose your child for CPP, your child’s physician will first ask you a number of questions
to get a medical history of your family and your child. Questions may include things like:
What signs of puberty have you noticed?
When did you first start noticing them?
How fast have they been progressing?
Does your family have a history of early puberty?
To rule out other medical problems that could be causing signs of early puberty, the physician will also
ask whether your child has had any other pains or problems. He or she will then conduct a detailed
Tests to help diagnose CPP1,2
If the physician thinks CPP might be causing your child’s early puberty, he or she may refer you to a
pediatric endocrinologistPediatric endocrinologist: a doctor who specializes in the treatment of hormone-related conditions in children
to conduct a number of tests and make an official diagnosis. Pediatric endocrinologists specialize in
the treatment of hormone-related conditions in children.
Your child’s physician or pediatric endocrinologist may perform a series of tests:
An x-ray of the hand and wrist. An x-ray of your child’s hands and wrists can help determine
your child’s bone ageBone age: the stage of development of the skeleton as compared with x-ray views of bone structures of other individuals who are the same age
(a measure of how mature his or her bones are). Because the bones of prepubertal children
have growth plates in their wrists and fingers that disappear as a child ages, a bone age
test can help the physician compare your child’s actual age (where he or she should be on
a standard growth chart) with his or her bone age. The physician can then determine whether
the bones are growing too quickly.
A blood test. This measures the level of hormones in your child’s bloodstream.
A GnRH stimulation test. This test confirms that your child’s symptoms are caused by CPP.
A pelvic and adrenal ultrasound. This will show the current state of development of your
child’s ovaries, adrenal glands, and testicles.
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan.
These scans are used to rule out other causes of early puberty.
After the physician looks at the results of these tests, he or she will make a proper diagnosis. If your
child is diagnosed with CPP, the physician may prescribe a treatment like LUPRON DEPOT-PED.
(See Treatment Options for CPP)