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Adv Ren Replace Ther. 1996 Jan;3(1):37-47.

Recombinant human growth hormone for children with renal failure.

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Division of Pediatric Nephrology, University Children's Hospital Heidelberg, Germany.


The pathogenesis of growth retardation in children with chronic renal failure (CRF) is clearly multifactorial. A major breakthrough in the understanding of the pathogenesis of uremic growth failure was achieved only recently by a more detailed analysis of the growth hormone (GH)/insulinlike growth factor (IGF) axis. Uremia is characterized by an insensitivity to the somatotropic action of GH. The mechanisms that account for this insensitivity include reduced hepatic GH receptor expression, decreased production of IGF-I, and inhibition of IGF bioactivity by increased binding of IGFs to their specific binding proteins. Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) in supraphysiological doses is able to overcome the partial GH resistance and to stimulate longitudinal growth under both experimental and clinical conditions. One possible mechanism of action of rhGH in uremia is the restoration of circulating IGF bioactivity, which results from the differential regulatory effect of rhGH on circulating IGF-I and IGFBP-3 concentrations. RhGH has proven to be an effective, safe, and well-tolerated new treatment modality for growth-retarded children at all stages of CRF. There is strong evidence that final height will increase in these children. Other than a modest chronic stimulation of insulin secretion, no frequent side effects have been observed; in particular, no acceleration in loss of residual renal function has been seen in children treated before the onset of end-stage renal failure. In children after transplantation, rhGH is also effective, but the potential risk of interference with graft function is not yet sufficiently defined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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