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Int J Pediatr Endocrinol. 2009;2009:826895. doi: 10.1155/2009/826895. Epub 2010 Jan 24.

Oxandrolone Improves Height Velocity and BMI in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, H4/4 Clinical Science Center, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792-4108, USA.



To evaluate the effectiveness of oxandrolone in improving the nutritional status and linear growth of pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis (CF).


Medical records of patients with CF treated with oxandrolone were reviewed for height z score, height velocity (HV), BMI z score, weight velocity (WV), Tanner stage, pulmonary function, liver enzyme levels, and any reported adverse events. Data were compared before (pre-Ox) and after (Ox) oxandrolone using a paired t-test.


5 subjects (ages 8.5-14.5 years) were treated with oxandrolone 2.5 mg daily for 8-38 months. After 8-12 months of treatment, there was a statistically significant improvement in HV (pre-Ox = 5.3 +/- 1.4 cm/yr, Ox = 8.3 +/- 1.2 cm/yr, P < .01) and BMI z score (pre-Ox = -0.61 +/- 1.04, Ox = -0.30 +/- 0.86, P = .02). Both height z score (pre-Ox = -1.64 +/- 0.63, Ox = -1.30 +/- 0.49, P = .057) and WV (pre-Ox = 4.2 +/- 3.7 kg/yr, Ox = 6.8 +/- 1.0 kg/yr, P = .072) showed beneficial trends that did not reach statistical significance. No adverse events were reported.


In this brief clinical report, oxandrolone improved the HV and BMI z score in patients with CF. Larger studies are needed to determine if oxandrolone is an effective, safe, and affordable option to stimulate appetite, improve weight gain, and promote linear growth in patients with CF.

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