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Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2015 Feb;5(2):95-103. doi: 10.1002/alr.21430. Epub 2014 Nov 3.

Topical intranasal corticosteroids and growth velocity in children: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.



There is no consensus regarding the effects on growth velocity of intranasal topical corticosteroid (ITC) use in children. The objective of this study was to determine whether ITC use reduces growth velocity in children with allergic rhinitis (AR).


A literature search of the National Center for Biotechnology Information PubMed, EMBASE, SCOPUS, and Cochrane databases from January 1, 1988 to October 7, 2013. The study selection was composed of randomized clinical trials investigating ITC for treatment of AR in children (age <18 years of age) with appropriate controls. Studies must have included interval change in growth as an outcome. Two authors independently extracted data and assessed study quality. Eligible studies were pooled using a random-effects approach.


Eight studies with 755 participants from 3 countries provided data for the meta-analysis (knemometry, n =342 participants; stadiometry, n =413 participants). Study duration ranged from 2 to 4 weeks for trials evaluating knemometry outcomes, and 12 months for trials evaluating stadiometry outcomes. Age of participants ranged from 3 to 12 years. The pooled standardized mean difference showed that among studies using knemometry, mean growth was statistically significantly lower among children using ITC vs placebo (-.223 mm/week; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.429 to -0.017; p < 0.034).The pooled standardized mean difference showed that among studies using stadiometry, there was no significant growth difference among children using ITC vs placebo (-0.053 cm/year; 95% CI, -0.491 to 0.385; p = 0.813). The limitations of this study were the difficulty in predicting longer-term or catch-up growth in children.


Meta-analytic pooling of trials suggest that short-term ITC for the treatment of AR in children may decrease short-term growth velocity using knemometry; however, the effect on longer-term growth velocity as measured by stadiometry is unclear.


allergic rhinitis; androstadienes; beclomethasone; budesonide; fluticasone; glucocorticoid; inhaled glucocorticoids; nasal inhaler; nasal spray; steroids

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