Background Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common cause of primary exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in Caucasian children. These patients commonly develop malnutrition and impaired longitudinal growth due to malabsorption and chronic respiratory disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of growth hormone (GH) therapy on linear growth velocity and pulmonary functions of children with CF.
Methods We studied 12 prepubertal children with CF in three divided stages. In the first 3 months they received nutritional guides and supplements in addition to pancreatine. In the second stage all patients received GH for six months, and in the last 3 months stage patients followed as same as first 3 months. All patients were evaluated for weight, height, respiratory symptoms, hospital admission and antibiotic therapy, monthly.
Results There were 8 boys and 4 girls with mean age of 5.4 years. The mean growth velocity for weight and height was significantly higher in the second stage than other stages and in the third stage slower than second stage, but higher than first stage. The mean bone ages before and after hormone therapy were 51 and 59 months respectively, which difference was significant statistically (P = 0.011).
Conclusion GH therapy is safe and effective on growth improvement in children with CF.