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Does growth hormone treatment improve final height attainment of children with intrauterine growth retardation?
  1. R Stanhope,
  2. M A Preece,
  3. G Hamill
  1. Institute of Child Health, London.


    Twenty four children (five girls, 19 boys) who had intrauterine growth retardation were treated with daily subcutaneous biosynthetic human growth hormone, initially in a dose of either 15 or 30 U/m2/week for the first year and in the latter dose for the next two years. Six patients (one girl, five boys) had no dysmorphic signs and 18 (four girls, 14 boys) had signs of Russel-Silver syndrome. All had birth weights below the third centile when adjusted for gestation age and all the children were below the third height centile at the start of treatment. Mean age was 6.3 years (range 2.1-9.7) when growth hormone treatment was started. All had normal growth hormone secretion to either a pharmacological or physiological test. In the first year of treatment, height velocity SD score increased from -0.75 to +3.6 in the group treated with 30 U/m2/week, and from -0.77 to +1.4 in the lower dose group. After three years of treatment, mean height velocity SD score was +1.1, irrespective of which initial treatment dose had been administered during the first year. There was no difference in the growth response of children with or without dysmorphic features. However, despite the sustained increase in growth rate, there was no significant change in height for bone age SD score, pointing to an unaltered final height outcome.

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