Pathophysiology, assessment and management of the child with growth hormone resistance

Pediatr Endocrinol Rev. 2010 Jun;7(4):347-56.


Defects in the growth hormone (GH)-insulin-like growth factor (IGF)I axis may cause GH resistance characterized by IGFI deficiency and growth failure. The range of defects causing GH resistance is broad as are their biochemical and phenotypical characteristics. We propose that GH-IGFI axis defects form a continuum of clinical and biochemical effects ranging from GH deficiency to GH resistance. The pathophysiology of GH resistance is described followed by a scheme for investigation of the child with severe short stature and normal GH secretion. We critically discuss GH therapy for such patients and define acceptable growth responsiveness. Finally we discuss therapy with IGF-I within the limits of the USA Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency labels for GH resistance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child
  • Growth Disorders / genetics
  • Growth Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Growth Disorders / therapy*
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / methods
  • Human Growth Hormone / physiology
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / genetics
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / physiology
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, Somatotropin / genetics
  • Receptors, Somatotropin / physiology


  • Receptors, Somatotropin
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I