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October 13, 1962


JAMA. 1962;182(2):184-185. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050410080018

Elsewhere in this issue of The Journal (p. 152) examples of familial pheochromocytoma are presented. The list of familial or hereditary endocrinopathies can be extended to include those of the hypothalamus, posterior pituitary, thyroid, parathyroids, pancreatic islets, and gonads, as well as obesity, diabetes mellitus, and perhaps even atherosclerosis.1,2

Thus, true sexual precocity of the so-called constitutional type (i.e., accelerated maturation of the gonads and of sex characteristics without evidence of cerebral disease), is of particular interest because it may well represent hereditary hypothalamic or anterior pituitary dysfunction. It can manifest itself in siblings, in parent and child, or in several generations of a family. Perhaps the most striking example of the last of these is the 1952 series reported by Jacobsen and Macklin, in which 27 individuals in 4 generations had been sexually precocious.

Another fascinating endocrine disorder, multiple adenomas or polyendocrine disease, of which the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome