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Biologics. 2010 Jun 24;4:147-55.

Managing idiopathic short stature: role of somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection.

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  • 1University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children's Hospital, AR, USA.


Idiopathic short stature (ISS) is a term that describes short stature in children who do not have growth hormone (GH) deficiency and in whom the etiology of the short stature is not identified. Between 1985 and 2000, more than 40 studies were published regarding GH therapy for ISS. Only 12 of these had data to adult height, of which only 4 were controlled studies. A subsequent placebo-controlled study that followed subjects to adult height indicated that there was a gain of 3.7-7.5 cm in height with GH treatment. In 2003, the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved GH for treatment of short stature. Even before FDA approval, patients with ISS made up about 20% of patients in GH databases, which is largely unchanged since FDA approval. There remains some controversy as to whether GH should be used to treat ISS. This controversy centers on the fact that there has been no definitive demonstration that short stature results in a disadvantage or problems with psychological adjustment, and thus, no demonstration that GH therapy results in improvement in quality of life.


IGF-1; ISS; growth hormone therapy; idiopathic short stature; insulin-like growth factor I; somatotropin; somatropin

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