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      Experience with Growth Hormone Therapy in Turner Syndrome in a Single Centre: Low Total Height Gain, No Further Gains after Puberty Onset and Unchanged Body Proportions

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          The experience gained since 1987, through observation of 85 girls with Turner syndrome under growth hormone (GH) treatment, has enabled the analysis of one of the largest cohorts. Our results show that age, karyotype and height reflect the heterogeneity of the patients examined at our growth centre. In 47 girls, followed over 4 years on GH (median dose 0.72 IU/kg/week), the median age was 9.4 years and mean height SDS was –3.55 (Prader) and –0.14 (Turner-specific), while height and other anthropometrical parameters [weight, body mass index, sitting height (SH), leg length (LL) SH/LL, head circumference, arm span] were documented and compared to normative data as well as to Turner-specific references established on the basis of a larger (n = 165) untreated cohort from Tübingen. The latter data are also documented in this article. Although there was a trend towards normalization of these parameters during the observation period, no inherent alterations in the Turner-specific anthropometric pattern occurred. In 42 girls who started GH treatment at a median age of 11.8 years, final height (bone age >15 years) was achieved at 16.7 years. The overall gain in height SDS (Turner) from start to end of GH therapy was 0.7 (± 0.8) SD, but 0.9 (± 0.6) SD from GH start to onset of puberty (spontaneous 12.2 years, induced 13.9 years) and –0.2 (± 0.8) from onset of puberty to end of growth. Height gain did not occur in 12 patients (29%) and a gain of > 5 cm was only observed in 16 patients (38%). Height gain correlated positively with age at puberty onset, duration, and dose of GH, and negatively with height and bone age at the time GH treatment started. Final height correlated positively with height SDS at GH start and negatively with the ratio of SH/LL (SDS). We conclude that, in the future, GH should be given at higher doses, but oestrogen substitution should be done cautiously, owing to its potentially harmful effect on growth. LL appears to determine height variation in Turner syndrome and the potential to treat short stature successfully with GH.

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          Author and article information

          Horm Res Paediatr
          Hormone Research in Paediatrics
          S. Karger AG
          22 November 2000
          : 53
          : 5
          : 228-238
          aUniversity Children’s Hospital, Tübingen, bCentre for Dentistry and Oral Medicine, Department of Prosthodontics, University of Tübingen, Germany
          23572 Horm Res 2000;53:228–238
          © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Figures: 4, Tables: 5, References: 38, Pages: 11
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