Use of letrozole to augment height outcome in pubertal boys: a retrospective chart review

Author Department

Pediatrics; Healthcare Quality

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Objectives: We describe growth patterns and predicted adult height (PAH) in pubertal boys treated with letrozole and evaluate the potential predictors of growth responses.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of data from 2002 to 2020. All subjects were treated for ≥6 months and had at least 3 height measurements to calculate the growth velocity (GV) before and during treatment. We evaluated growth measurements, bone age, and biochemical parameters before, during and after treatment.

Results: A total of 59 subjects aged 12.7 (± 1.7) years old were included. At treatment initiation, bone age was 13.1 (± 1.5) years and predicted adult height (PAH) was 163.8 (± 9.9) cm compared to mid-parental height of 172.4 (± 5.8) cm. Growth velocity decreased during letrozole therapy and rebounded after completion. Sub-analysis of 26 subjects with bone age data available at baseline and at least 1 year later showed a trend to modest increase in PAH. In boys simultaneously receiving growth hormone (rhGH), the change in PAH was significantly more (3.2 cm, p<0.05) compared to those treated with letrozole alone.

Conclusions: We show that letrozole appropriately slows down skeletal maturation and GV responses are variable. Possible negative predictors include lower baseline GV and advanced bone age. A small positive trend in PAH with letrozole therapy is augmented by simultaneous use of rhGH. Future randomized controlled trials are needed to better understand which group of patients will benefit from treatment.

Keywords: aromatase inhibitors; children; letrozole; predicted adult height; short stature.