Growth hormone treatment enhances bone mineralisation in children with chronic renal failure

Eur J Pediatr. 2001 Jun;160(6):359-63. doi: 10.1007/s004310100734.


Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry of the whole body and the lumbar spine was performed to study bone mineralisation before and after 1 year of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) treatment in ten children with chronic renal failure. At the start, median age was 7.3 years (range 2.0-8.8 years) and median glomerular filtration rate 15 ml/min per 1.73 m2 (range 7-41 ml/min per 1.73 m2). Total body mineral content (TBMC), lumbar spine mineral content (LBMC), total body bone mineral density (TBMD) and lumbar spine mineral density (LBMD) improved significantly (P < 0.05) after 1 year of treatment. Bone mineral data before and after treatment were compared with two groups of controls, i.e. ten healthy children matched for age and ten healthy children matched for height. Patients' TBMC, LBMC, TBMD and LBMD data before treatment were no different from those of height-matched controls; the same was true after 1 year of treatment except for the patients' significantly better LBMD (P < 0.05). When compared with age-matched controls, patients had significantly lower baseline TBMC and LBMC levels before treatment; after treatment LBMC was no longer different. However, there were no differences in TBMD or LBMD between patients and age-matched controls at baseline or after rhGH.

Conclusion: Recombinant human growth hormone treatment for 1 year results in a significant increase in both growth velocity and bone mineralisation. Comparison with height-matched controls shows a similar bone mineralisation at baseline and a better bone mineral density after treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Bone Density
  • Calcification, Physiologic / drug effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone / pharmacology*
  • Growth Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Male


  • Growth Hormone