The KIGS experience with the addition of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists to growth hormone (GH) treatment of children with idiopathic GH deficiency.

Author Department


Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Although recombinant techniques have enabled the production of limitless amounts of human growth hormone (GH), and clinical methods for diagnosis and treatment have been greatly enhanced, the mean final heights of children with idiopathic GH deficiency (IGHD) treated with GH remain in the range of -1.3 standard deviation scores (SDS) below normal height. One of the methods used to increase height outcomes is to delay the onset and progression of puberty to allow for a longer 'pre-pubertal' growth phase. We reviewed the KIGS (Pharmacia International Growth Database) data of patients with IGHD who had been treated with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa) in order to see if a greater gain in height could be achieved by altering the tempo of pubertal maturation. Near-final height data were analysed in 39 adolescents (out of a total of 249) who had received GH + GnRHa therapy and were compared with similar data from 1,893 patients with IGHD treated with GH alone. The total change in height SDS in boys who received GH alone was +1.6, in contrast to +1.1 in GH + GnRHa-treated boys; the total change in height SDS in girls who received GH alone was +1.4 in contrast to +1.1 in girls treated with GH + GnRHa. The near final height SDS in girls treated with GH + GnRHa was 1.0 below the mid-parental target height (MPH), whereas there was only a -0.5 SDS difference in girls treated with GH. Approximation to the MPH did not differ in boys between the two treatment groups. These data suggest that the attainment of a substantial height SDS by manipulating the tempo of puberty is limited, but that optimizing growth during the pre-pubertal phase is a more important factor. Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

Publication ISSN