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Treatments for Turner’s Syndrome

Most treatment for Turner syndrome occurs in childhood and adolescent years. Patients will have a pediatric endocrinologist who cares for them. Treatments the endocrinologist would recommend are growth hormone injections, estrogen replacement therapy, surgery when necessary, having an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist when hearing loss is a possibility, and regular health visits.

Treatment for short stature 

Growth hormone injections are important for patients with Turner syndrome, because without these injections girls will not be able to grow to their full potential.

Without the growth hormone treatment, women’s maximum height potential is 143cm or about 4.7ft. Picture- (lakecharlesobgyn.com).

Treatment for lack of Estrogen

Estrogen replacement therapy is usually started at a time of normal puberty, around 12 years old to start breast development. Estrogen and progesterone are given a little later to begin a monthly ‘period’, which is necessary to keep the womb healthy. Women with Turner syndrome are sterile; therefore they do not produce their own eggs. However, it is still important for them to maintain a healthy womb because they can use in-vitro fertilization using donated eggs and possibly conceive children. Estrogen is also given to prevent osteoporosis.

Treatment for heart disorder

Baby girls can be born with a bicuspid valve and cortication of the aorta and the only way to treat these heart defects is surgery.

Treatment for Ear Infections

Girls who have Turner syndrome are more likely to get middle ear infections.

An ear infection is defined as inflammation of the middle ear characterized by the accumulation of fluid. An estimated 90% of patients have middle ear infections or conductive hearing loss.  There is a 9% incidence for sensorineural hearing loss at a young age, increasing to 25% by age 45.

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea), or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain.

The ear (scienceblogs.com).

Children with Turner syndrome are more likely to have middle ear effusion and/or otitis media (ear infections) because of the abnormal relationship between the Eustachian tube and the middle ear. The Eustachian tube, is shown below, it tube that runs between the inside of the ear and the throat. Its job is to make sure the pressure is the same on either side of the eardrum.

This abnormal relationship causes an abnormal anatomy at the base of the cranium. When girls turn seven or eight years old they need to have increased surveillance for middle ear effusion.

As a result of ear infections, conductive hearing loss is common. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem conducting sound waves anywhere along the route through the outer ear, eardrum or middle ear. If a child has conductive hearing loss, they should be monitored and have it managed aggressively because the impact of hearing loss is significant on speech and language development.

When there is a persistent ear infection there is a risk for the formation of cholesteatoma (a type of skin cyst in the middle ear).

This is a diagram of where cholestoatoma is located in the ear (marshfieldclinic.org, 2012).

 

What choleseatoma looks like when observed with an otoscope (drugline.org, 2012).

A type of hearing loss that can also develop is Progressive sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). This type of hearing loss causes someone not to be able to hear frequencies of 1.5 to 2 KHz and/or 8 KHz as early as age 6. As mentioned above if children has hearing loss or frequent ear infections they can have trouble learning how to develop language and speech. If this progresses and is severe enough,  amplification may be recommended. If hearing loss is identified then the girls should see their Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist to have annual audiological evaluations and follow-up and possibly receive a hearing aid.

Regular health checks are extremely important. There are special clinics in certain areas that specialize in the care of girls and women with Turner syndrome. Early preventive care and treatment is exceptionally important.

Women with Turners are able to live a healthy happy life with these types of treatments and support from family and friends.

Sources:

Akron Children’s Hospital

National Human Genome Research Institute

 

3 responses to “Treatments for Turner’s Syndrome

  1. Nemanja Vukovic

    December 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I also believe that this page should come either directly before or after the page that talked about the Human Growth Hormone. I think that would be the most effective way to present this information. However, the illustrations were definitely beneficial because they were very detailed and could help your readers understand what it actually looks like.

     
  2. tfischer42

    December 4, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Thorough information here, well presented. You might include a note at the beginning explaining that Turner’s syndrome has no treatment in and of itself, and that treatment focuses on addressing symptoms and correcting comorbid conditions.

    Tim Fischer

     
  3. biowikiproject

    December 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    The ordering of the pages makes it hard for the readers to follow. You might want to change the ordering. Other than that, this page was well presented. I loved how the pictures were spread throughout the page, which makes it easier for the readers to read the page.

     

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