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      Growth Hormone Treatment Strategy for Short Children Born Small for Gestational Age

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          Abstract

          Several studies performed in the last 15 years have shown that growth hormone (GH) induces a profound catch-up in height in short children born small for gestational age (SGA). We know from more recent studies that final height can be normalized through GH treatment. In Europe, GH is now a recognized indication, enabling treatment of short children born SGA. Treatment is given to the most severe growth-retarded children after the age of 4 years. A dose of 0.035 mg/kg per day is recommended. However, in our opinion a higher dose would be more efficient in very short children, especially if they are treated later in childhood.

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          Most cited references 11

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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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            Adult height after long-term, continuous growth hormone (GH) treatment in short children born small for gestational age: results of a randomized, double-blind, dose-response GH trial.

            The GH dose-response effect of long-term continuous GH treatment on adult height (AH) was evaluated in 54 short children born small for gestational age (SGA) who were participating in a randomized, double-blind, dose-response trial. Patients were randomly and blindly assigned to treatment with either 3 IU (group A) or 6 IU (group B) GH/m(2).d ( approximately 0.033 or 0.067 mg/kg.d, respectively). The mean (+/-SD) birth length was -3.6 (1.4), the age at the start of the study was 8.1 (1.9) yr, and the height SD score (SDS) at the start of the study -3.0 (0.7). Seventeen of the 54 children were partially GH deficient (stimulated GH peak, 10-20 mU/liter). Fifteen non-GH-treated, non-GH-deficient, short children born SGA, with similar inclusion criteria, served as controls [mean (+/-SD) birth length, -3.3 (1.2); age at start, 7.8 (1.7) yr; height SDS at start, -2.6 (0.5)]. GH treatment resulted in an AH above -2 SDS in 85% of the children after a mean (+/-SD) GH treatment period of 7.8 (1.7) yr. The mean (SD) AH SDS was -1.1 (0.7) for group A and -0.9 (0.8) for group B, resulting from a mean (+/-SD) gain in height SDS of 1.8 (0.7) for group A and 2.1 (0.8) for group B. No significant differences between groups A and B were found for AH SDS (mean difference, 0.3 SDS; 95% confidence interval, -0.2, 0.6; P > 0.2) and gain in height SDS (mean difference, 0.3 SDS; 95% confidence interval, -0.1, 0.7; P > 0.1). When corrected for target height, the mean corrected AH SDS was -0.2 (0.8) for group A and -0.4 (0.9) for group B. The mean (+/-SD) AH SDS of the control group [-2.3 (0.7)] was significantly lower than that of the GH-treated group (P < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis indicated the following predictive variables for AH SDS: target height SDS, height SDS, and chronological age minus bone age (years) at the start of the study. GH dose had no significant effect. In conclusion, long-term continuous GH treatment in short children born SGA without signs of persistent catch-up growth leads to a normalization of AH, even with a GH dose of 3 IU/m(2).d ( approximately 0.033 mg/kg.d).
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              Prediction of response to growth hormone treatment in short children born small for gestational age: analysis of data from KIGS (Pharmacia International Growth Database).

              A model was developed that allows physicians to individualize GH treatment in children born short for gestational age (SGA) who fail to show spontaneous catch-up growth. Data from children (n = 613) in a large pharmacoepidemiological survey, the KIGS (Pharmacia International Growth Database), or who had participated in clinical trials were used to develop the model. Another group of similar children (n = 68) from KIGS was used for validation. In the first year of GH treatment, the growth response correlated positively with GH dose, weight at the start of GH treatment, and midparental height SD score and negatively with age at treatment start. Using this model, 52% of the variability of the growth response could be explained, with a mean error SD of 1.3 cm. GH dose was the most important response predictor (35% of variability), followed by age at treatment start. The second year growth response was best predicted by a three-parameter model (height velocity in yr 1 of treatment, age at start of treatment, and GH dose), which accounted for 34% of the variability, with an error SD of 1.1 cm. The first year response to GH treatment was the most important predictor of the second year response, accounting for 29% of the variability. No statistically significant differences between the predicted and observed growth responses were found when the models were applied to the validation groups. In conclusion, using simple variables, we have developed a model that can be used in clinical practice to adjust the GH dose to achieve the desired growth response in patients born SGA. Furthermore, this model can be used to provide patients with a realistic expectation of treatment and may help to identify compliance problems or other underlying causes of treatment failure.
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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
                : 137-140
                Affiliations
                Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Robert Debré Hospital, Paris, France
                Article
                80515 Horm Res 2004;62(suppl 3):137–140
                10.1159/000080515
                15539815
                © 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
                References: 17, Pages: 4
                Categories
                SGA Launch Symposium

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