Is GH therapy useful to preserve bone mass in transition-phase patients with GH deficiency?

J Endocrinol Invest. 2005;28(10 Suppl):28-32.


GH deficient (GHD) adult patients, either from child- or adulthood onset, have impaired health (impairment in body composition and structure functions as well as derangement in lipoprotein and in carbohydrate metabolism leading to increased cardiovascular morbidity), which improves with GH replacement. For patients with childhood-onset GHD, the so called "transition phase", defined as the period between reaching the final height and the completion of the development of such organs, can be considered as the most important phase of life for the development of important target organs: heart, bones and muscles. Particularly, children with GHD may not attain the peak bone mass (PBM) at the time of discontinuation of GH therapy, as the complete achievement of PBM is likely reached later on, during the transition phase to adulthood. In addition, patients with GHD generally have a delayed timing of PBM compared to normal individuals. GH treatment should be continued until the attainment of PBM, independently of the final height achieved. Individual titration of the recombinant human GH (rhGH) dose is recommended, and measurement of IGF-I levels is needed for monitoring the adequacy of replacement. The GH dose for replacement in the transition adolescent is still higher than in adulthood; after puberty, the rhGH dose should be progressively decreased in the following years (probably up to 25 yr of age) in order to obtain the achievement of optimal PBM.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aging*
  • Body Height / drug effects
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Bone Development / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Bone and Bones / pathology
  • Bone and Bones / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Dwarfism, Pituitary / drug therapy*
  • Dwarfism, Pituitary / pathology
  • Dwarfism, Pituitary / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Heart / growth & development
  • Human Growth Hormone / pharmacology
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / analysis
  • Male
  • Muscle Development / drug effects
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I