Article ID: EJ19-0489
Nutritional intervention for maintaining an appropriate body composition is central to the management of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). Despite evidence that visceral adipose tissue (VAT) is associated with increased metabolic risks, the effects of nutritional intervention on fat distribution have not been evaluated for PWS children. We herein investigated fat distribution in 20 genetically diagnosed PWS children (9 males and 11 females); 17 of which received nutritional intervention with or without growth hormone (GH) treatment [GH-treated group (n = 8), GH-untreated group (n = 9)]. GH treatment continued for median of 4.9 years. GH treatment significantly increased height standard deviation score (SDS) whereas body weight SDS and body mass index SDS were not affected in GH-treated group. In GH-untreated group, height SDS significantly decreased during approximately 5 years of follow-up. Fat distribution was evaluated at the median age of 6.93 years in GH-treated group and 7.01 years in GH-untreated group. VAT was maintained within the reference range in both groups. Subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) was elevated in GH-untreated groups compared to reference values whereas it was not in GH-treated group. The remaining three subjects, who had never received nutritional intervention or GH treatment, showed increased VAT and SAT. In conclusion, nutritional intervention is beneficial in maintaining VAT within the reference range during childhood, although excessive nutritional intervention may cause unfavorable effect on linear growth.