Growth hormone in children (for growth hormone deficiency, Turner's syndrome, chronic renal failure and idiopathic short stature)

Anthony D, Stevens A
Record ID 31998008875
Authors' objectives:

Growth hormone (somatropin) is the standard licensed treatment for short stature due to growth hormone deficiency and short stature in Turner's syndrome. It has recently been licensed for use by children with short stature due to chronic renal failure. The authors aim to examine how effective this treatment is, and whether it actually has any positive effects, medical or psychological.

Authors' results and conclusions: All six case series studies were uncontrolled, so although five out of the six reported a height gain, with patients going on to achieve a greater-than-expected adult height, it is difficult directly to assess whether this height gain is from treatment or not. The Turner's syndrome studies found treated girls gained between 3.6cm and 8.1cm over their original projected height; one study which included an untreated comparative group found that compared with its members, treated girls gained an extra 5cm. Height gains appeared to be greater for the group of patients with chronic renal failure than for those of the GHD, Turner's or short stature groups. The greatest gains in height for all patients, regardless of disorder, are achieved in the first couple of years of treatment.
Authors' recommendations: Almost all the trial results show an improvement in height for all children treated with growth hormone regardless of their growth disorder. This height improvement enables the majority of treated children to reach a final height that is closer to the normal growth curve. Conflicting results are found from the studies which examine the psychological benefits of treatment. The authors consider there is a need for research which addresses why a child (or their parent) requests treatment, and comment that the cost of growth hormone treatment makes it important that these questions are addressed.
Authors' methods: Review
Project Status: Completed
URL for project:
Year Published: 1996
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England
MeSH Terms
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic
  • Turner Syndrome
Organisation Name: Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development
Contact Address: Pauline King. Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development, Boldrewood Medical School, Bassett Crescent East, Highfield, Southampton. SO16 7PX Tel. +44 1703 595661 Fax +44 1703 595662
Copyright: Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development (WIHRD)
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