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Transplantation. 2005 May 15;79(9):1241-6.

Recombinant human growth hormone treatment after liver transplantation in childhood: the 5-year outcome.

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The Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Pediatric Nephrology and Transplantation, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.



Because the results of short-term recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) treatment in children with growth impairment after liver transplantation (LTx) have been promising, we have studied the long-term effects of rhGH on growth and graft function after LTx.


Indications for rhGH treatment were height standard deviation score (hSDS) below -2.0 or growth velocity SDS below 0 and LTx at least 18 months before inclusion. Eight growth-retarded children were treated with rhGH for more than 5 years.


During the first year, median growth rate improved from 3.3 to 7.0 cm/year. In the second and third year, growth velocity remained high at 6.6 cm/year and 6.2 cm/year, respectively (P=0.008). In the fourth year, median growth velocity started to decline but still remained above baseline during the fifth year of treatment (4.2 cm/year). The median hSDS improved from -3.6 to -2.7. During the rhGH treatment, no acute rejection episodes were detected, and graft function remained stable in all except one patient. She was diagnosed with chronic rejection in the third year of rhGH treatment. The patient had elevated liver enzymes and abnormal liver function tests already before rhGH treatment.


The efficacy of rhGH treatment is sustained after the first year in liver-transplant children with non-GH-deficient growth retardation. Because of a potential risk of side effects, close monitoring of these patients is required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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