Isolated growth hormone deficiency in children and adolescents

J. Argente, S. A S Abusrewil, G. Bona, F. Chiarelli, C. J H Kelnar, N. Skordis

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Although it is difficult to reach international agreement on the definition of growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in children and adolescents, great efforts to do so have been made during the last two decades. A somewhat limited definition of GHD is: a combination of auxological, clinical, biochemical and metabolic abnormalities caused by lack or insufficiency of GH secretion that results in a decrease in the production of GH-dependent hormones and growth factors. Its aetiology is very complex. Therefore, specific studies must be performed during different periods of childhood (neonatal, prepubertal and pubertal periods). Auxological parameters, particularly growth velocity (GV), are still considered the best clinical measures for analysing human growth. The spectacular advances in our understanding of molecular biology during the past twenty years have allowed, and will continue to allow, a more and more precise diagnosis of the molecular anomalies of human growth. This will, in turn, allow changes caused by genetic lesions to be more efficiently distinguished from those due to nutritional, organic, tumoural, psychological or traumatic causes. Our knowledge of the molecular bases of under-growth due to a deficiency in GH has developed as a result of the localisation and characterisation of human genes which code for proteins implicated in the hormonal regulation of growth. These genes include pituitary GH (GH1), pituitary transcription factor 1 (Pit-1), the prophet of Pit-1 (PROP-1), the pituitary transcription factor LHX3, the transcription factor HESX1 and the GH-releasing hormone receptor (GHRHr). In addition, magnetic resonance imaging is the best available imaging method for the evaluation of size and structure of the pituitary and the parasellar region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1003-1008
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Consensus guidelines
  • Diagnosis of GHD
  • Growth hormone
  • Growth hormone deficiency (GHD)
  • Management of GHD

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    Argente, J., Abusrewil, S. A. S., Bona, G., Chiarelli, F., Kelnar, C. J. H., & Skordis, N. (2001). Isolated growth hormone deficiency in children and adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, 14(SUPPL. 2), 1003-1008.