References for ultrasound staging of breast maturation, Tanner breast staging, pubic hair and menarche in Norwegian girls.

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Discriminating adipose and glandular tissue is challenging when clinically assessing breast development. Ultrasound facilitates staging of pubertal breast maturation (US B), but has not been systematically compared to Tanner breast staging (B), and no normative data have been reported.To present normative references for US B along with references for Tanner B, pubic hair (PH) and menarche.A cross-sectional sample of 703 healthy girls aged 6 to 16 years were examined.Breast development was determined with US B and Tanner B staging. Tanner PH and menarcheal status were recorded. The age distributions of entry in US B, Tanner B and PH stages, and menarche were estimated with generalized linear and generalized additive models with a probit link. Method agreement was tested with weighted Cohen's kappa.The median (2SD) ages for thelarche, US B2 and Tanner B2, were 10.2 (7.7, 12.8) and 10.4 (8.0, 12.7) years. The median (2SD) ages at Tanner PH2 and menarche were 10.9 (8.5, 13.3) and 12.7 (11.0, 16.2) years. Cohen's kappa of agreement (95%CI) between US B and Tanner B was 0.87 (0.85, 0.88). When the methods disagreed, US B was usually more advanced.Thelarche occurred at a slightly younger age when assessed with ultrasound compared to clinical Tanner staging, although the two methods had a very good agreement when determining pubertal breast maturation. A significant decrease of 2.8 months in age at menarche was observed during the past decade in Norwegian girls.

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