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J Pediatr. 1996 Oct;129(4):544-50.

Final height and hormonal function after bone marrow transplantation in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Leiden, The Netherlands.



To analyze final height and hormonal function in long-term survivors of bone marrow transplantation (BMT).


Group 1 consisted of 16 patients (10 boys) with a hematologic malignancy, mostly leukemia, conditioned for BMT with total body irradiation (TBI), 7.5 to 12 Gy, and cyclophosphamide. Group 2 consisted of 14 patients (9 boys) with severe aplastic anemia, conditioned with chemotherapy only.


In group 1, patients achieved a reduced final height after BMT. The difference between the height standard deviation score (SDS) at BMT and the height SDS at final height was -1.96 (0.82) SDS in boys and -0.92 (0.71) SDS in girls (p = 0.0001, and p = 0.02 respectively). Final height was also lower than target height (boys, p = 0.01; girls, p = 0.03). Prepubertal growth in the first 3 years after BMT was normal but pubertal height gain was decreased. The patients in group 2 achieved normal height. Thyroid function and adrenal function were normal in all patients, and no growth hormone deficiency was detected. Serum follicle-stimulating hormone values after BMT were increased in all group 1 patients, with return to normal in two patients. Serum luteinizing hormone values were increased in all group 1 girls, with recovery in one girl. Normal serum luteinizing hormone values and spontaneous puberty were found in all group 1 boys. In group 2, disturbances in gonadotropins were seen only in three boys and two girls.


In patients treated in childhood with BMT after chemotherapy and TBI with 7.5 Gy or more, final height is compromised because of blunted growth in puberty. Patients who had not received TBI suffered no height loss. In the majority of patients, the combination of chemotherapy and TBI also resulted in irreversible disturbances of gonadal function.

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