Follow-up height after discontinuation of growth hormone treatment in children with intrauterine growth retardation

Darendeliler F. F., Bundak R., Kabatas S., Günöz H., Bas F., Saka N.

JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC ENDOCRINOLOGY & METABOLISM, vol.15, no.6, pp.795-800, 2002 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Growth hormone (GH) treatment has been used in children with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) to promote growth with success in several short- and long-term clinical trials. Intermittent GH therapy has also been advocated in children with IUGR. This study was designed to evaluate the growth of children with IUGR after discontinuation of a two-year trial of GH treatment. Sixteen children (12 F, 4 M) who had received GH (Genotropin(R)) at age 5.3 (1.3) years at a dose of 0.2 IU/kg/day for 2 years (Group 1) and 10 (6 F, 4 M) controls of age 4.3 (1.7) years without treatment (Group 2) were followed after completion of the trial over a median period of 4 years. Height SDS of the GH-treated group showed an increase from -3.0 (0.5) to -1.9 (0.7) (p < 0.001) over 2 years of therapy. Off therapy, height SDS decreased to -3.5 (0.5) at a mean age of 11.2 (1.6) years. The difference between the initial and recent height SDS in this group was significantly different (p = 0.02). Height SDS of the control group, -2.7 (1.4) initially, did not change over the two-year observation period. At follow-up, seven control children received GH in a similar fashion for one year. In spite of an insignificant increase in height SDS on one year of GH, it decreased to -2.9 (1.6) at age 11.0 (2.1) years at the latest visit. There was no significant difference between the recent heights of the two groups at final examination. One girl in Group I developed acanthosis nigricans and type 2 diabetes mellitus at age 13.3 years, after the follow-up period. A second patient developed osteosarcoma in the left tibia at age 9.9 years, for which she received chemotherapy and surgery. In conclusion, height SDS showed a significant increase on GH therapy for 2 years in children with IUGR; however, it decelerated after discontinuation of therapy. At the final visit, GH therapy did not seem to have had any effect on height prognosis. This finding shows that GH should be given continuously to improve final height in children with IUGR.