Somatotropin in the treatment of growth hormone deficiency and Turner syndrome in pediatric patients: a review

Clin Pharmacol. 2010:2:111-22. doi: 10.2147/CPAA.S6525. Epub 2010 Jun 1.


Growth hormone (GH), also known as somatotropin, is a peptide hormone that is synthesized and secreted by the somatotrophs of the anterior pituitary gland. The main action of GH is to stimulate linear growth in children; however, it also fosters a healthy body composition by increasing muscle and reducing fat mass, maintains normal blood glucose levels, and promotes a favorable lipid profile. This article provides an overview of the normal pathophysiology of GH production and action. We discuss the history of GH therapy and the development of the current formulation of recombinant human GH given as daily subcutaneous injections. This paper reviews two of the longest standing FDA-approved indications for GH treatment, GH deficiency and Turner syndrome. We will highlight the pathogenesis of these disorders, including presentations, presumed mechanism(s) for the associated short stature, and diagnostic criteria, with a review of stimulation test benefits and pitfalls. This review also includes current recommendations for GH therapy to help maximize final height in these children, as well as data demonstrating the efficacy and safety of GH treatment in these populations.

Keywords: Turner syndrome; growth hormone; pediatric patients; somatotropin.