Growth curves for children with Laron syndrome were constructed on the basis of repeated measurements made throughout infancy, childhood, and puberty in 24 (10 boys, 14 girls) of the 41 patients with this syndrome investigated in our clinic. Growth retardation was already noted at birth, the birth length ranging from 42 to 46 cm in the 12/20 available measurements. The postnatal growth curves deviated sharply from the normal from infancy on. Both sexes showed no clear pubertal spurt. Girls completed their growth between the age of 16-19 years to a final mean (SD) height of 119 (8.5) cm whereas the boys continued growing beyond the age of 20 years, achieving a final height of 124 (8.5) cm. At all ages the upper to lower body segment ratio was more than 2 SD above the normal mean. These growth curves constitute a model not only for primary, hereditary insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) deficiency (Laron syndrome) but also for untreated secondary IGF-I deficiencies such as growth hormone gene deletion and idiopathic congenital isolated growth hormone deficiency. They should also be useful in the follow up of children with Laron syndrome treated with biosynthetic recombinant IGF-I.
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