Get answers to your child's growth, nutrition, and feeding behavior questions.
Panhypopituitarism; Pituitary dwarfism; Recombinant human GH (rhGH); Acquired growth hormone deficiency; Congenital growth hormone deficiency; Somatropin
A child's short stature will often affect self-esteem. Providing emotional support is an important part of treatment. Children may be teased by classmates and playmates. Family, friends, and teachers should emphasize the child's other skills and strengths.
Treatment involves growth hormone injections given at home. Patients may receive growth hormone several times a week or once a day.
Many children gain 4 or more inches over the first year, and 3 or more inches during the next 2 years. Then the growth rate slowly decreases.
Serious side effects of growth hormone therapy are rare. The most common side effects are:
The earlier the condition is treated, the better the chance that a child will grow to be a near-normal adult height.
Growth hormone replacement therapy does not work for all children.
If left untreated, growth hormone deficiency will lead to short stature and delayed puberty.
Growth hormone deficiency may occur with deficiencies of other hormones, including the following:
Call your health care provider if your child seems abnormally short for his or her age.
Parks JS, Felner EI. Hypopituitarism. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2011:chap 551.
Reiter EO, Rosenfeld RG. Normal and aberrant growth. In: Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2008:chap 23.
Cook DM, Yuen KC, Biller BM, Kemp SF, Vance ML; American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists medical guidelines for clinical practice for growth hormone use in growth hormone-deficient adults and transition patients - 2009 update. Endocr Pract. 2009;15:1-29.
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