Growth Hormone Secretion in Children of Short Stature

  • R. Rappaport


In children of short stature, usually defined as height at 2 standard deviations or more below the normal mean for age, it is generally accepted that growth hormone (GH) function should be assessed. It is also necessary, before performing any investigation, to analyse the clinical features, the familial and social background, the growth and developmental pattern of the child. In fact there is a large range of clinical features extending from the very typical picture of pituitary dwarfism to that of constitutional short stature; and it is our impression that, in a fair number of cases, it remains difficult to predict an impairment of G?? secretion. Furthermore, extensive evaluation of GH function has led to the description of more complex causes of growth retardation such as transitory GH deficiency, resistance to circulating GH with lack of somatomedin generation, and biologically inactive growth hormone. Classification of patients in some of these categories is also necessary to establish treatment strategy, in view of the growing demand for and perhaps better availability of human growth hormone. Some of these aspects are discussed in the following, with particular emphasis on transitory and partial GH deficiency.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Couly, G., Rappaport, R., Brauner, R., Czernichow, P., 1982, Association of facial malformations with primary hypopituitarism as possible evidence for a common developmental defect of pro senphalic neural crest derivatives (abstract), European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology Meeting, Helsinki.Google Scholar
  2. Gourmelen, M., Pham Huu Trung, M.T., Girard, F., 1976, Temporary partial hypopituitarism as a possible cause for certain pubertal decreases in growth, Pediatr. Res., 10: 876.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kowarski, A.A., Schneider, J., Ben-Galime Weldon, V.V. and Daughaday, W.H., 1978, Growth failure with normal serum RIA-GH and low somatomedin activity: somatomedin restoration and growth acceleration after exogenous GH, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab, 47: 461–464.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Parkin, J.M., 1974, Incidence of growth hormone deficiency, Arch. Dis. Child, 49: 904–905.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Philipps, J.A., Hjelle, B.L., Seeburg, P.H., Zachmann, M., 1981, Molecular basis for familial isolated growth hormone deficiency, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 78: 6372–6375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Prader, A., Zachmann, M. and Bucher, H., 1980, Constitutional delay of growth and puberty: auxological and endocrine characteristics, in: Serono Symposium n° 36, ‘Pathology of Puberty’, eds, E. Cacciari and A. Prader, Academic Press, London and New York, p. 123–135.Google Scholar
  7. Rappaport, R. and Czernichow, P., 1982, Anomalies de la secrdtion de l’hormone somatotrope et de la prolactine, in Endocrinologie Pédiatrique, J. Bertrand, R. Rappaport et P.C. Sizonenko, eds., Payot Lausanne-Doin, Paris, p. 216–240.Google Scholar
  8. Roua, R.J., Tanner, J.M., 1977, Aetiology of idiopathic growth hormone deficiency in England and Wales, Arch. Dis. Child, 52: 197–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Rudman, D., Kutner, M.H., Blackston, R.D., Jansen, R.D. and Patterson, J.H., 1979, Normal variant short stature: subclassification based on responses to exogenous human growth hormone, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 49: 92–99.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Rudman, D., Kutner, M.H., Blackston, R.D., Cushman, R.A., Bain, R.P., Patterson, J.H., 1981, Children with normal-variant short stature: treatment with human growth hormone for six months, N. Engl. J. Med, 305: 123–131.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Shalet, S.M., Beardwell, C.G., Twomey, J.A., Morris Jones, P.H. and Pearson, D., 1977, Endocrine function following the treatment of acute leukemia in childhood, J. Pediatr., 90: 920–923.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Vimpani, G.V., Vimpani, R.F., Lidgard, G.P., Cameron, E.H.D., Farquhar, J.W., 1977, Prevalence of severe growth hormone deficiency, Brit. Med., 2: 427–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Zachmann, M., Fernandez, F., Tassinari, D., Thakker, R. and Prader, A., 1980, Anthropometric measurements in patients with growth hormone deficiency before treatment with human growth hormone, Eur. J. Pediatr., 133: 277–282.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Rappaport
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Department of PediatricsHôpital des Enfants MaladesParisFrance

Personalised recommendations