Aims: To assess long-term efficacy and safety of recombinant human growth hormone (GH) in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Methods: An open-label, international, multicenter study. Children with CKD and growth failure received GH (0.35 mg/kg/week). The primary efficacy endpoint was a significant change in height velocity (HV) and height standard deviation score (SDS) versus baseline after 12 months of treatment, extended to 24 months, then to 5 years.
Results: In total, 81 patients enrolled (CKD Stage 4 - 5 = 37, on dialysis = 27, post-transplant = 17). After 12 and 24 months of treatment, increases were seen in mean (SD) HV (4.6 (3.1) to 9.0 (3.6) cm/year and 4.5 (3.3) to 7.5 (2.9) cm/year, respectively; both p < 0.001), mean (SD) height SDS (-3.7 (1.7) to -3.0 (1.7) and -3.6 (1.5) to -2.5 (1.5), respectively; both p < 0.001) and mean (SD) HV SDS (-2.4 (2.5) to 3.8 (4.5) and -2.4 (2.2) to 1.1 (3.8), respectively; both p < 0.001). A normal height SDS was seen in 1% of children at baseline, 17% after 12 months and 43% after 24 months of treatment. Improvements were similar across CKD subgroups with the greatest improvements in CKD Stage 4 - 5. Among 31 patients who completed about 5 years of treatment, four reached final height. There was no undue bone age acceleration and no deterioration of kidney function. Ten adverse events were related to GH treatment.
Conclusions: In this long-term study, GH treatment was associated with significant improvements in growth and height in children with CKD and growth failure, and was well tolerated.