Serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), and a range of growth and nutritional variables were investigated in 62 infants with congenital heart disease and healthy controls. Infants with congenital heart disease were small, underweight, and had a reduced energy intake. Serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 concentrations were significantly reduced. Decreased IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels are observed in nutritional deficiency; similar findings in congenital heart disease suggest that undernutrition contributes to the poor growth of these infants. Serial measurements of serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 may be helpful in monitoring the effect of nutritional treatment in congenital heart disease.
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