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J Pediatr. 2001 Mar;138(3):406-10.

Effect of growth hormone treatment on testicular function, puberty, and adrenarche in boys with non-growth hormone-deficient short stature: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

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Developmental Endocrinology Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1862, USA.



To evaluate the effect of growth hormone (GH) therapy on pubertal onset, pubertal pace, adult testicular function, and adrenarche in boys with non-GH-deficient short stature.


Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. GH (0.074 mg/kg, subcutaneously, 3 times per week) or placebo treatment was initiated in prepubertal or early pubertal boys and continued until near final height was reached (n = 49). Statistical significance was assessed by survival analysis, repeated-measures analysis of variance, and Student t test.


GH therapy did not affect the age at pubertal onset, defined either by testicular volume >4 mL or by testosterone concentration >1.0 nmol/L (30 ng/dL). GH treatment also did not affect the pace of puberty, defined either by the rate of change in testicular volume or testosterone concentration during the 4 years after pubertal onset. In boys followed up to age > or =16 years during the study, there were no significant differences in final testicular volume or in plasma testosterone, luteinizing hormone, or follicle-stimulating hormone concentrations. The pace of adrenarche, assessed by change in dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels over time, also did not differ significantly between the GH and placebo groups.


Our findings suggest that GH treatment does not cause testicular damage, alter the onset or pace of puberty, or alter the pace of adrenarche in boys with non-GH-deficient short stature.

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