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      Safety of Growth Hormone Treatment in Children Born Small for Gestational Age: The US Trial and KIGS Analysis

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          Background: Recently, growth hormone (GH) therapy for children with short stature born small for gestational age (SGA) has been approved in the USA and Europe. There have been few reports examining adverse events during GH treatment of these children. Aims: (i) To examine glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity during GH treatment of children born SGA in a US trial. (ii) To determine and compare adverse events reported in children born SGA with those reported in children with idiopathic short stature (ISS) enrolled in KIGS – Pfizer International Growth Database. Methods: In the US SGA trial, an oral glucose tolerance test was performed and fasting plasma glucose, insulin and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA<sub>1C</sub>) concentrations were measured at baseline and after 12 months of GH therapy. Insulin sensitivity was calculated using the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) and the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI). In the KIGS analysis, a retrospective audit of spontaneously logged cumulative adverse events in children born SGA and those with ISS was undertaken. Adverse events are reported per 1,000 patients. Values are expressed as mean with 10th–90th percentiles. Results: In the US trial, 84 patients had complete data sets for analysis. Median birth weight was 1.78 kg (SDS, –2.5) and birth length 43 cm (SDS, –2.2) at a median gestational age of 36.5 weeks; 79% were Caucasian. At entry, median age of the patients analysed was 6.6 years, and 65% were male. Median height was 104.3 cm (SDS, –2.97), median weight 15.95 kg (SDS, –2.21) and body mass index 14.66 kg/m<sup>2</sup> (SDS, –0.67). No patients developed impaired glucose tolerance or overt diabetes mellitus. The 0-min glucose concentration was 81 mg/dl at baseline and 86 mg/dl at 1 year, while the 120-min glucose concentration was 90 mg/dl at baseline and 96 mg/dl at 1 year. The 0-min insulin concentrations were 2.9 mU/l at baseline and 5.3 mU/l at 1 year, while the 120-min insulin levels were 7.7 mU/l at baseline and 11 mU/l at 1 year. The proportions of HbA<sub>1C</sub> were 5.2 and 5.4% at baseline and 1 year, respectively. HOMA and QUICKI values were 0.59 and 0.42, respectively, at baseline, and 1.13 and 0.38 at 1 year. In KIGS, there were 1909 children born SGA aged 9.1 (3.9–13.3) years with a birth weight SDS of –2.6 (–4.0 to –1.5), birth length SDS of –2.7 (–4.3 to –1.3) and height SDS of –2.71 (–3.9 to –1.8) prior to treatment. GH doses ranged from 0.032 to 0.037 in the USA and from 0.022 to 0.023 mg/kg/day in the remaining countries in KIGS. Neither total (187 vs. 183) nor serious (14 vs. 10) adverse events occurred more commonly in the SGA group than in the ISS group. Although respiratory adverse events occurred more commonly in children born SGA (34.3 vs. 16.8; p < 0.05), endocrine (12.0 vs. 2.7; p < 0.05) and hepatobiliary (6.2 vs. 1.1; p < 0.05) adverse events occurred more commonly in children with ISS. Conclusions: As expected, a reduction in insulin sensitivity occurred during GH treatment of children born SGA; however, glucose tolerance remained normal. No adverse events were reported more commonly in children born SGA than in those with ISS. Minor differences in adverse events reporting within organ systems between children born SGA and those with ISS are probably due to variable under-reporting of adverse events. GH appears to be a safe drug to use at current doses as a growth-promoting agent in short children born SGA.

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          Most cited references 9

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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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              Effect of growth hormone on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.


                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                April 2006
                10 April 2006
                : 65
                : Suppl 3
                : 153-159
                aLiggins Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand; bPfizer Inc, Stockholm, Sweden; cMount Sinai School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Diabetes Center, dPfizer Inc., and eDepartment of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, New York, N.Y., USA
                91719 Horm Res 2006;65:153–159
                © 2006 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: 3, Tables: 3, References: 21, Pages: 7
                Safety and Benefits of Growth Hormone Therapy


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