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Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2008 Jul;52(5):854-60.

[Management of the growth hormone (GH)-treated patients with diagnosis of GH deficiency (DGH) during transition from childhood to adulthood].

[Article in Portuguese]

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  • 1Serviço de Endocrinologia e Metabologia, Hospital do Servidor Estadual de São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Growth hormone (GH) has many beneficial effects in patients with childhood-onset GH deficiency (GHD) in addition to its promotion of linear growth. The discontinuation of GH treatment in GHD patients, during the transition from childhood to adulthood, induces significant unfavorable changes in body composition, skeletal integrity, exercise capacity, and an adverse cardiovascular risk profile. These changes are reversed after the resumption of GH treatment. As the benefits of continuing GH therapy into adulthood has been well established, it is possible that GH replacement therapy will not be stopped once growth has been completed, but it will continue into adult life. Considering that a high proportion of patients with diagnosis of DGH in childhood are no longer GHD in adolescence, the GH status must be retested when growth is completed. Other factors such as clinical history, GH response in childhood, hipotalamic-pituitary MRI and IGF-1 concentration must be considered. Reconfirmation of GHD diagnosis through stimulation testing is usually required, unless there is a proven genetic or structural lesion persistent from childhood.

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