Does growth hormone therapy harmonize distorted morphology and body composition in chronic renal failure?

Pediatr Nephrol. 2000 Dec;15(3-4):229-35. doi: 10.1007/s004670000478.


Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) therapy of growth retardation in chronic renal failure (CRF) has become well established. While there are ample data about its effectiveness in restoring longitudinal growth delay, data on complex anthropometry are scarce. Twenty-three children with CRF (6 after renal transplantation) were investigated using 24 different parameters. The analysis revealed disproportionate growth in CRF. While parameters of the trunk and transverse dimension of the head were preserved, the extremities were affected more severely. Bone dimensions of the legs and arms as well as muscle mass were affected the most. RhGH therapy was effective in restoring impaired longitudinal dimensions of the body in CRF. The restoration of growth retardation occurred predominantly in the extremities. This was accompanied by an increase in transversal dimensions, circumferences and soft tissue of the extremities, as well as an increase in bone and muscle volume, indicating harmonization of the total body shape. The dimensions of trunk, forehead diameter and morphological face height remained within the normal range. There was no evidence of acromegaly in children with CRF and rhGH therapy. We conclude that rhGH therapy at a dose of 28 iU/m2/week is effective in restoring previously disproportional body structure and shape in children with CRF.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Body Composition / drug effects*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Extremities / anatomy & histology
  • Extremities / growth & development
  • Female
  • Growth Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Growth Disorders / etiology
  • Head / anatomy & histology
  • Head / growth & development
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / pathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Male
  • Skinfold Thickness


  • Human Growth Hormone