Benefit of early commencement of growth hormone therapy in children with Prader-Willi syndrome

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Dec;22(12):1151-8. doi: 10.1515/jpem.2009.22.12.1151.


Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a chromosomal disorder and growth failure is a common presentation. Growth hormone (GH) treatment is beneficial in PWS although the optimal age for starting GH is unknown. We investigated whether GH response in PWS was associated with the age of GH commencement by comparing 16 children who commenced GH before 3 years of age (early group) with 40 children who commenced GH after 3 years of age (late group) from the Ozgrow database. Height SDS, body mass index (BMI) SDS, bone age (BA)-chronological age (CA) ratio, change in height (delta Ht) SDS and change in BMI during 4 years of GH treatment were compared between the groups. The early group had better height SDS and delta Ht SDS. BA delay was more pronounced in the early group but BA did not mature beyond CA with GH therapy in either group. Although the initial GH dose for the early group was lower than that of the late group, the former had better height outcome. The starting GH dose seen in the database is lower than the dose used by international centres.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • Body Height / drug effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Databases, Factual
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Female
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Human Growth Hormone