Response to long-term growth hormone therapy in short children with reduced GH bioactivity

Paola Travaglino, Fabio Buzi, Cristina Meazza, Sara Pagani, Carmine Tinelli, Lorenzo Iughetti, Vincenzo De Sanctis, Gianluca Aimaretti, Dimitri Poddighe, Salvatore Barberi, Mauro Bozzola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aims: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether short children with normal growth hormone (GH) immunoreactivity, but reduced bioactivity (bioinactive GH) could benefit from rhGH treatment as GH deficient (GHD) patients. Methods: We evaluated 12 pre-pubertal children (8 M, 4 F), with GH deficiency-like phenotype showing normal serum GH peak levels (>10 ng/ml), measured by immunofluorimetric assay (IFMA-GH), in contrast with a reduced GH bioactivity (bio-GH), evaluated using the Nb2 cells. We also evaluated 15 age-matched GHD pre-pubertal children (11 M, 4 F) with serum GH peak <5 ng/ml. Both groups were treated with rhGH therapy at the dose of 0.23 mg/kg/week s.c. Results: Serum bio-GH/IFMA-GH ratio at peak time for each patient during the provocative test was significantly lower in bioinactive GH than in GHD children (0.29 vs. 2.05, p = 0.00001). Recombinant human GH therapy induced a significant (p < 0.001) increase in growth rate in both groups during the first 2 years. In the third year of treatment, while growth rate in GHD children is maintained, in bioinactive GH patients it decreases remaining, however higher compared to the pre-treatment one. Conclusions: Short rhGH therapy given to selected bioinactive GH children improve growth rate and might result in greater final adult height.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-194
Number of pages6
JournalHormone Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Growth hormone bioinactivity
  • Growth hormone deficiency
  • Growth hormone treatment
  • Growth velocity
  • Nb cell bioassay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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