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Minerva Endocrinologica 2002 June;27(2):59-64

language: Italian

Growth disorders in Down's syndrome: growth hormone treatment

Pallotti S., Giuliano S., Giambi C.


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Background. The aim of the study was evaluate the short and long-term effects of growth hormone therapy in subjects affected by Trisomy 21.
Methods. The growth curves of 10 Down's syndrome patients (3 males and 7 females) aged between 21 and 35 years old were analysed. During pre- or peripuberty these subjects had received growth hormone (GH) therapy lasting an average of 3.02 years. At distance of between 10 to 15 years after the end of GH therapy, routine laboratory tests (thyroid hormones, glycemia, glycosylated hemoglobin, transaminase) were carried out together with a full hematological assay (hemochrome using leukocyte formula, morphological study of blood components).
Results. GH therapy resulted in an increased rate of growth among these subjects and a improvement in final stature of 5.16 cm in males and 7.35 cm in females. The long-term controls did not reveal any hematological changes or changes in HbA1c concentrations, thyroid function and hepatic function, thus confirming the abscence of collateral effects of GH therapy in subjects with Down's Syndrome.
Conclusion. In view of these results, we are convinced that GH therapy is extremely positive in trisomy 21, given the marked improvements in terms of growth, the absence of collateral effects and the possible psychological benefits of increased stature, in particular a better insertion in society.

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