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Bone. 2007 Nov;41(5):875-81. Epub 2007 Aug 1.

Similar effects of long-term exogenous growth hormone (GH) on bone and muscle parameters: a pQCT study of GH-deficient and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) children.

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1
Paediatric Endocrinology Section, University Children's Hospital, Hoppe Seyler Strasse 1, D-72076, Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

Treatment with GH in short children has focused on height development. Little is known about the concomitant changes in muscle mass, bone structure and bone strength.

METHODS:

Muscle area as well as parameters of bone architecture (bone mineral content, BMC; volumetric cortical density, total bone area, TBA; cortical area, cortical thickness, CT; and marrow area) were measured by means of pQCT (Stratec) at 65% of the proximal length of the forearm. The strength-strain index (SSI) was calculated as an indicator of bone strength.

RESULTS:

Prepubertal children with GHD (mean values: age; 7.2 years; height SDS=-2.9 SDS; GH dose: 30 microg/kg/d) were followed at 0, 6, 12 (n=74) and 24 (n=55) months. Prepubertal children with SGA (mean values: age: 7.1 years; height SDS=-3.4 SDS; GH dose: 55 mug/kg/d) were followed at 0, 6, 12 (n=47) and 24 (n=35) months. Both groups showed a similar increase in height. At GH start, muscle mass and bone characteristics were lower than normal but similar in SGA vs. GHD. Muscle area (mean values, SDS) increased from -3.0 to -1.5 in SGA and from -2.4 to -1.0 in GHD. Bone geometry changed in a biphasic mode, with an increase in total bone area and lowering of bone mineral content (BMC) during the first 12 months, followed by an increase of BMC and CT thereafter. SSI (mean values, mm(3)) improved from 78 to 114 in GHD and from 62 to 101 in SGA after 24 months on GH. The increment in terms of SDS did not reach significance in SGA. SSI correlated positively with muscle area before and during GH treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Bone strength and muscle mass are impaired in prepubertal children with GHD and SGA. Exogenous GH can indirectly improve bone structure and strength by inducing an increase in muscle mass. Our findings support the assumption that, in SGA, there is impaired tissue responsiveness to GH.

PMID:
17826368
DOI:
10.1016/j.bone.2007.06.028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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