Growth Hormone Treatment of the Short Child Born Small for Gestational Age

  • Steven D. Chernausek


Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) is a pathologic condition where fetal growth is restrained by either extrinsic (maternal) factors or a disorder intrinsic to the fetus itself. This is a significant problem because of the morbidity that accompanies IUGR, which includes persistent short stature. Although the majority of children born small for gestational age (SGA) have accelerated growth following birth and reached a height in normal range, about one in ten remain short. The explanation for the lack of catch-up growth in these individuals remains unclear. Nevertheless, when treated with exogenous growth hormone at supraphysiologic doses, accelerated growth is observed, and adult height is increased. These data led both US and European regulatory agencies to approve growth hormone (GH) for the treatment of short stature in children born to SGA. The effect of IUGR on subsequent growth, its amelioration by growth hormone, and the approach for the evaluation and treatment of the individual patient are the focus of this chapter.


Growth hormone Small for gestational age Intrauterine growth retardation Insulin-like growth factor I Short stature Growth 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pediatric EndocrinologyUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterOklahoma CityUSA

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