Minipuberty is a period of increased reproductive axis activity in infancy, but the importance of this period is not well understood, especially in girls. Previous studies reported a peak in hormone concentrations at 3 to 4 months old. Our objective is to describe anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) trajectories in the context of other minipuberty factors among healthy infant girls using longitudinal measures of AMH.
The Infant Feeding and Early Development study is a longitudinal cohort study of healthy infants, recruited from hospitals in the Philadelphia area during 2010 to 2013. We measured AMH in 153 girls who contributed 1366 serum samples across 11 study visits over 36 weeks. We also measured follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, and ovarian characteristics. We used latent class mixed effects models to cluster trajectories of AMH concentration with age. Using linear mixed models, we estimated FSH and ovarian characteristic trajectories separately by AMH cluster.
We classified infants into four clusters that represent patterns of AMH that were high and decreasing (decreasing), had a peak around 12 weeks or 20 weeks (early peak and middle peak), or were consistently low (low). Infants in these clusters differed in their FSH trajectories, timing of estradiol production, and ovarian characteristics.
The AMH clusters identified suggest variation in the timing and the magnitude of the minipuberty response in infant girls. The decreasing and low clusters have not been described previously and should be further evaluated to determine whether they represent an opportunity for the early identification of later reproductive conditions.