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J Trop Pediatr. 2001 Jun;47(3):146-52. doi: 10.1093/tropej/47.3.146.

Growth parameters and endocrine function in relation to echocardiographic parameters in children with ventricular septal defect without heart failure.

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Department of Child Health, University of Alexandria, Egypt.


To determine the effect of ventricular function, size of ventricular septal defect (VSD), and endocrine function on linear growth in children with VSD, we studied 88 children with VSD over a period of 1 year. Growth was assessed by determining the height standard deviation scores (HtSDS) and growth velocity (GV) every 4 months. Two hundred age-matched normal children served as controls for the growth data. Endocrine evaluation was performed in 30 randomly selected children with VSD, and 20 age-matched children with constitutional delay of growth (CSS). Growth hormone (GH) response to clonidine provocation was evaluated and circulating free thyroxine (FT4) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) concentrations measured. Echocardiographic evaluation of the different cardiac parameters including shunt size and shunt fraction (Qp/Qs) was performed using a colour-coded echodoppler. The HtSDS, body mass index (BMI), and mid-arm circumference (MAC) of children with VSD were significantly decreased compared to those for the normal control group. The dietary intake evaluated by the recall method, appeared to be adequate in the majority of these children (83/88). IGF-I concentrations were reduced in children with VSD (87.5 +/- 29 ng/ml) versus normal age-matched children (169 +/- 42 ng/ml). Basal and clonidine-stimulated GH concentrations were significantly higher in children with VSD (4.6 +/- 2.1 microg/l and 28.8 +/- 7.9 microg/l respectively) versus controls (17.8 +/- 4.2 microg/l). In these patients (n = 88) the HtSDS was correlated negatively with the size of the shunt (r = -0.793, p < 0.001), shunt fraction (Qp/Qs) (r = -0.76, p < 0.001), pulmonary mean gradient (r = -0.4, p = 0.006), and pulmonary maximum velocity (r = -0.32, p = 0.02). Growth velocity (GV) was correlated negatively with pulmonary maximum gradient (r = -0.3, p = 0.02), pulmonary maximum velocity (r = -0.37, p = 0.007), and pulmonary stroke volume (Qp) (r = -0.345, p = 0.01). The BMI and IGF-I concentrations were correlated significantly with the size of the shunt (r = -0.453, p < 0.01), Qp/Qs (r = -0.432, p < 0.01), HtSDS (r = 0.565, p < 0.01), and BMI (r = 0.435, p < 0.01). It appears that in patients with VSD, the size of the left-to-right shunt and the abnormal hemodynamics in the pulmonary circulation are important factors in the etiology of impaired growth. It is suggested that the hypermetabolic status of these patients compromise nutrition and this decreases IGF-I synthesis with subsequent slowing of linear growth and weight gain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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