Serum leptin in short children born small for gestational age: dose-dependent effect of growth hormone treatment

Horm Res. 2000;54(3):120-5. doi: 10.1159/000053244.


Objective: To study the effects of different regimens of growth hormone (GH) treatment on serum leptin levels in 78 short prepubertal children born small for gestational age (SGA).

Methods: The children were originally included in two independent multicenter trials, one in Belgium and one in the Nordic countries. SGA children were randomized either to remain untreated or to be treated with GH at a daily dose of 0.1, 0.2 or 0.3 IU/kg for 2 years. Thereafter, treatment was continued for another 2 years in the Nordic children, whereas it was discontinued in the Belgian children.

Results: In the GH treatment groups, a significant dose-dependent decrease in leptin levels was found during the first year of therapy, with a mean decrease of 13, 23 and 32% in the groups receiving GH at 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 IU/kg, respectively. When high-dose treatment was interrupted, serum leptin increased within 1 year to pretreatment levels.

Conclusion: Serum leptin levels in short children born SGA are transiently reduced by GH treatment in a dose-dependent fashion. The most pronounced changes in serum leptin were documented within the first year after initiation and withdrawal of high-dose GH treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Belgium
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Human Growth Hormone / administration & dosage*
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age*
  • Leptin / analysis*
  • Male
  • Sweden


  • Leptin
  • Human Growth Hormone