Early initiation of growth hormone treatment allows age-appropriate estrogen use in Turner's syndrome

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 May;86(5):1936-41. doi: 10.1210/jcem.86.5.7466.


Because estrogen (E) accelerates skeletal maturation it can decrease final height attainable with GH therapy in girls with Turner's syndrome (TS). Nonetheless, as age-appropriate E administration does have psychobehavioral benefits for such patients, we asked whether E treatment in TS could occur without adverse impact on final adult height if GH therapy were started at an earlier age. Near adult height (NAH) was assessed in 344 girls with TS, who had received both GH and E and were followed in the National Cooperative Growth Study database. The groups were divided into quartiles based on age at initiation of GH (2-10, 10-12, 12-14, and 14-18 yr). The longest total and E-free period of GH treatment occurred in the girls who had started treatment in the youngest quartile (mean age, 8.2 +/- 1.5 (SD) yr); they were also exposed to E at the youngest age (12.7 +/- 1.6 yr). Although the girls in the youngest group received E at an earlier age, they had a significantly greater increase (1.8 +/- 0.8) in Lyon height SD score at NAH over Lyon predicted adult height than those in the oldest GH-treated group (0.8 +/- 0.6), which first received E at 15.9 +/- 1.3 yr. Multiple linear regression equations for gain in Lyon height SD score and in height (cm) showed greater increments with a longer period of E-free GH therapy. All four GH age groups had the same NAH, but the youngest quartile was youngest at NAH and likely still having more growth potential. Comparable data were found in 127 TS girls with spontaneous puberty. In conclusion, girls with TS starting GH at an early age have a greater gain in Lyon SD score at NAH compared with those starting later, even though they received E at a younger age. If GH therapy were started early, E treatment could be initiated at a younger, more age-appropriate time without compromising adult height.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Height
  • Child
  • Estrogens / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Puberty
  • Turner Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Turner Syndrome / physiopathology


  • Estrogens
  • Growth Hormone