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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 18, 2017

Efficacy of long-term growth hormone therapy in short non-growth hormone-deficient children

Lucia Schena, Cristina Meazza, Sara Pagani, Valeria Paganelli, Elena Bozzola, Carmine Tinelli, Fabio Buzi and Mauro Bozzola



In recent years, several studies have been published showing different responses to growth hormone (GH) treatment in idiopathic short stature children. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether non-growth-hormone-deficient (non-GHD) short children could benefit from long-term GH treatment as GHD patients.


We enrolled 22 prepubertal children and 22 age- and sex-matched GHD patients, with comparable height, body mass index (BMI), bone age, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) circulating levels. The patients were treated with recombinant human GH (rhGH) and followed until they reach adult height.


During GH treatment, the two groups grew in parallel, reaching the same final height-standard deviation score (SDS) and the same height gain. On the contrary, we found significantly lower IGF-I serum concentrations in non-GHD patients than in GHD ones, at the end of therapy (p=0.0055).


In our study, the response to GH treatment in short non-GHD patients proved to be similar to that in GHD ones. However, a careful selection of short non-GHD children to be treated with GH would better justify the cost of long-term GH therapy.

Corresponding author: Mauro Bozzola, Professor, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna e Terapia Medica, Unità di Pediatria e Adolescentologia, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Fondazione IRCCS San Matteo, Piazzale C. Golgi 19, 27100 Pavia, Italy, Phone: +39 0382 501270, Fax: +39 0382 502876


The authors are grateful to Susan West for revising the English of the paper.

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


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Received: 2016-7-25
Accepted: 2016-11-28
Published Online: 2017-1-18
Published in Print: 2017-2-1

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