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      Growth Hormone Treatment of Short Children Born Small for Gestational Age: A US Perspective

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          Abstract

          Research during the last decade shows clearly that growth hormone (GH) therapy causes a sustained increase in growth velocity when applied to short children born small for gestational age (SGA). This occurs even though GH deficiency per se is an unlikely explanation for their lack of catch-up growth. In the United States, children born weighing less than –2 SD for gestational age and who show no growth recovery (usually defined as stature persisting below –2 SD at age 2 years) are eligible for GH treatment using doses up to 0.48 mg/kg per week. The management of these children brings new challenges to the pediatric endocrinologist. Intrauterine growth retardation reflects a variety of etiologies, some of which merit special consideration and may respond variably to GH. The dose of GH used exceeds physiologic replacement and is higher than that commonly used to treat other non-GH-deficient conditions such as Turner syndrome. Thus, what constitutes optimal therapy in terms of dose, timing and patient selection remains an important question. While GH therapy provides a means by which one aspect of the SGA syndrome can be helped, there are other issues for SGA apart from height. Future efforts should include studies that better define how GH should be used in the short child born SGA and address more broadly the medical, social and psychological needs of these patients.

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          Most cited references 15

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          International Small for Gestational Age Advisory Board consensus development conference statement: management of short children born small for gestational age, April 24-October 1, 2001.

          To provide pediatric endocrinologists, general pediatricians, neonatologists, and primary care physicians with recommendations for the management of short children born small for gestational age (SGA). A 13-member independent panel of pediatric endocrinologists was convened to discuss relevant issues with respect to definition, diagnosis, and clinical management of short children born SGA. Panel members convened over a series of 3 meetings to thoroughly review, discuss, and come to consensus on the identification and treatment of short children who are born SGA. SGA is defined as birth weight and/or length at least 2 standard deviations (SDs) below the mean for gestational age ( 2 SD below the mean; this catch-up process is usually completed by the time they are 2 years of age. A child who is SGA and older than 3 years and has persistent short stature (ie, remaining at least 2 SD below the mean for chronologic age) is not likely to catch up and should be referred to a pediatrician who has expertise in endocrinology. Bone age is not a reliable predictor of height potential in children who are SGA. Nevertheless, a standard evaluation for short stature should be performed. A diagnosis of SGA does not exclude growth hormone (GH) deficiency, and GH assessment should be performed if there is clinical suspicion or biochemical evidence of GH deficiency. At baseline, insulin-like growth factor-I, insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3, fasting insulin, glucose, and lipid levels as well as blood pressure should be measured, and all aspects of SGA-not just stature-should be addressed with parents. The objectives of GH therapy in short children who are SGA are catch-up growth in early childhood, maintenance of normal growth in childhood, and achievement of normal adult height. GH therapy is effective and safe in short children who are born SGA and should be considered in those older than 2 to 3 years. There is long-term experience of improved growth using a dosage range from 0.24 to 0.48 mg/kg/wk. Higher GH doses (0.48 mg/kg/wk [0.2 IU/kg/d]) are more effective for the short term. Whether the higher GH dose is more efficacious than the lower dose in terms of adult height results is not yet known. Only adult height results of randomized dose-response studies will give a definite answer. Monitoring is necessary to ensure safety of medication. Children should be monitored for changes in glucose homeostasis, lipids, and blood pressure during therapy. The frequency and intensity of monitoring will vary depending on risk factors such as family history, obesity, and puberty.
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            Insulin Resistance in Short Children with Intrauterine Growth Retardation

             P L Hofman (1997)
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              Update of guidelines for the use of growth hormone in children: the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrinology Society Drug and Therapeutics Committee.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                HRE
                Horm Res Paediatr
                10.1159/issn.1663-2818
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                978-3-8055-7833-2
                978-3-318-01154-8
                1663-2818
                1663-2826
                2004
                October 2004
                17 November 2004
                : 62
                : Suppl 3
                : 124-127
                Affiliations
                University of Cincinnati School of Medicine and Division of Endocrinology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
                Article
                80513 Horm Res 2004;62(suppl 3):124–127
                10.1159/000080513
                15539813
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, References: 25, Pages: 4
                Categories
                SGA Launch Symposium

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