Should we treat children with idiopathic short stature?

Horm Res. 1999;52(3):150-7. doi: 10.1159/000023452.


The use of growth hormone (GH) to treat short children who are clearly GH-deficient is now well accepted. However, GH treatment of short children who have no currently recognizable abnormalities in their GH-insulin-like growth factor I axis remains controversial. Whether such children with so-called idiopathic short stature (ISS) should be treated with GH was the subject of an international workshop held in St.-Paul-de-Vence, France, in April 1999. This article summarizes the issues discussed at the workshop, including the definition of ISS, ethical and health-economic aspects of treatment, results from clinical trials and surveillance studies, and the use of prediction models in aiding treatment decisions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Height*
  • Child
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Human Growth Hormone / adverse effects
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Psychology, Child
  • Quality of Life


  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I