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Treatment of growth hormone deficiency in children

Alan D Rogol, MD, PhD
Erick J Richmond, MD
Section Editor
Mitchell E Geffner, MD
Deputy Editor
Alison G Hoppin, MD


Recombinant human growth hormone (GH) is the primary treatment for short stature associated with GH deficiency. Challenges to effective treatment include difficulty in establishing a firm diagnosis of GH deficiency and variable responsiveness to GH within the population diagnosed with GH deficiency.

The indications for and efficacy of exogenous GH treatment in children with GH deficiency are reviewed here. The diagnostic approach to the child with short stature and the diagnosis of GH deficiency are discussed separately. (See "Causes of short stature" and "Diagnostic approach to children and adolescents with short stature" and "Diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency in children".)

GH therapy is also prescribed for several other specific indications in children and adolescents, including idiopathic short stature and short stature associated with small for gestational age, chronic kidney disease, Turner syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, mutations in the SHOX gene, and Noonan syndrome. These uses are discussed in separate topic reviews:

(See "Growth hormone treatment for idiopathic short stature".)

(See "Growth hormone treatment for children born small for gestational age".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 03, 2017.
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