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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2000 Dec;26(11):1205-10.

Changes in height, weight and plasma leptin after bone marrow transplantation.

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  • 1Pediatric Endocrinology Department, Université René Descartes and H pital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France.


Short stature can be a severe side-effect of bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Because of the effect of weight changes on growth rate and on plasma insulin-like growth factor (IGF I), we analyzed changes in height and body mass index (BMI) in 53 patients given BMT. Group 1 (n = 22) was given 12 Gy total body irradiation (TBI) as six fractions, group 2 (n = 14) 10 Gy TBI (one dose), group 3 (n = 8) 6 Gy total lymphoid irradiation (one dose), and group 4 (n = 9) chemotherapy alone. At the first evaluation, 13/36 patients in groups 1 and 2 had low growth hormone (GH) peaks after stimulation. The mean plasma IGF I concentrations (z score) were similar in groups 1 (-2.9 +/- 0.3) and 2 (-2.5 +/- 0.3), and in groups 3 (-1.4 +/- 0.3) and 4 (-1.4 +/- 0.7), but those of group 1 were lower than those of groups 3 (P < 0.01) and 4 (P < 0.05), and those of group 2 than those of group 3 (P < 0.05). BMI during the 5 years after BMT did not change in groups 1 and 2, decreased in group 3, and increased in group 4. However, these changes were not significant. Most of the patients given TBI had BMI below the mean at 2 (66%) and 5 (57%) years later. Their BMI and leptin concentrations correlated positively with each other (P = 0.005), and negatively with GH peak (P = 0.02 for BMI and 0.007 for leptin). In conclusion, this study suggests that TBI actually decreases GH secretion and is followed by a persistent low BMI. The negative relationship between GH peak and leptin may indicate that both are markers of a TBI-induced hypothalamic-pituitary lesion.

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