Treatment with growth hormone in short children born with intrauterine growth retardation
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In the past 10 yr, the potential benefits of treatment with growth hormone (GH) in children born with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) have been well documented. In this study, 46 children with IUGR received 3 yr of GH treatment (0.2 IU/kg of body wt) followed by a further 3 yr of observation without treatment. Height velocity (HV) increased dramatically during the first year of treatment, and over the 3-yr treatment period there was a 2 standard deviation score (SDS) gain in height (from −3.3±0.7 SDS to −1.3±0.3 SDS). Bone age (BA) was increased by 4 yr during treatment. A dramatic decrease in HV was observed in the second phase of the study when patients were no longer receiving GH. Similarly, the gain in BA during the observation period was only half that observed during the treatment period. No clinically significant changes were observed in laboratory test results, and no clinical adverse events could be related to treatment. In conclusion, the data provide evidence of a beneficial effect of GH treatment in IUGR children. However, adequate treatment duration is critical, because growth velocity decreases dramatically on discontinuation of GH treatment.
Key WordsGrowth hormone intrauterine growth retardation height velocity bone age
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