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Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 1995 Aug;6(3):145-54.

Glucocorticoids and growth in asthmatic children.

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Ira & Jacqueline Neimark Laboratory for Clinical Pharmacology in Pediatrics, National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Denver, CO 80206, USA.


The effects of asthma and oral and inhaled glucocorticoid therapy on growth in children are reviewed. Previous reports have shown that asthma itself may delay the onset of puberty, an effect which may masquerade as growth suppression. Oral glucocorticoids appear to impair growth; however, lower doses and alternate-day therapy may have less risk of this effect. While a controversial topic, inhaled glucocorticoids in lower doses appear to be associated with a small risk of adverse effects on growth. Minimal data are available for higher doses. Knemometry, a relatively new technique used for measuring small changes in growth, has detected short-term effects with both oral and inhaled glucocorticoids therapy. However, a number of limitations are associated with short-term growth studies. Clinicians should be aware of the potential for growth impairment with glucocorticoid therapy so adequate monitoring can be undertaken and appropriate intervention introduced when deemed necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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