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Calcif Tissue Int. 2016 Jan;98(1):49-59. doi: 10.1007/s00223-015-0064-8. Epub 2015 Oct 6.

Impact of Growth Hormone on Adult Bone Quality in Turner Syndrome: A HR-pQCT Study.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.
Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Department of Radiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
Department of Radiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health, University of Calgary, Room HRIC 3AC64, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 4Z6, Canada.


Women with Turner syndrome (TS) are known to be at risk of osteoporosis. While childhood growth hormone (GH) treatment is common in TS, the impact of this therapy on bone health has been poorly understood. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of childhood GH treatment on adult bone quality in women with TS. 28 women aged 17-45 with confirmed TS (12 GH-treated) agreed to participate in this cross-sectional study. Dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) of lumbar spine, hip, and radius and high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) scans of the radius and tibia were used to determine standard morphological and micro-architectural parameters of bone health. Finite element (FE) analysis and polar moment of inertia (pMOI) were used to estimate bone strength. GH-treated subjects were +7.4 cm taller (95% CI 2.5-12.3 cm, p = 0.005). DXA-determined areal BMD of hip, spine, and radius was similar between treatment groups. Both tibial and radial total bone areas were greater among GH-treated subjects (+20.4 and +21.2% respectively, p < 0.05), while other micro-architectural results were not different between groups. pMOI was significantly greater among GH-treated subjects (radius +35.0%, tibia +34.0%, p < 0.05). Childhood GH treatment compared to no treatment in TS was associated with an increased height, larger bones, and greater pMOI, while no significant difference in DXA-derived BMD, HR-pQCT micro-architectural parameters, or FE-estimated bone strength was detected. The higher pMOI and greater bone size may confer benefit for fracture reduction in these GH-treated patients.


Growth hormone; High-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography; Osteoporosis; Turner syndrome

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