Investigation of growth hormone secretion in patients with intrauterine growth retardation

Acta Paediatr Scand Suppl. 1989;349:42-6; discussion 53-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1989.tb17167.x.


Growth hormone (GH) deficiencies have rarely been reported in intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR). This study has investigated GH secretion using GH provocation tests, 24-hour GH secretory profiles, and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) measurements in 24 children with intrauterine growth retardation. The criteria for diagnosis were a birth length and weight below the 10th percentile for gestational age. The average age at investigation was 5.5 years, and the average growth retardation was -3.3 SD. Twenty children had shown catch-up growth between the ages of 6 months and 3 years, followed by varying decreases in growth velocity. Studies of GH secretion demonstrated GH deficiency in 16 patients, with neurosecretory dysfunction in six. Treatment with pituitary GH in nine children increased mean growth velocity from 3.5 cm/year to 7 cm/year. GH therapy should thus be effective in improving the height prognosis of children with intrauterine growth retardation.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / drug therapy
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / physiopathology*
  • Growth Hormone / metabolism*
  • Growth Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone
  • Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone