Objective: To study the effects of recombinant human growth hormone (r-hGH) replacement therapy on glucose and lipid metabolism and thyroid function in children with idiopathic short stature (ISS).
Methods: Forty-seven ISS children with a mean age of 10±3 years treated between January 2009 and January 2013 were enrolled. All children underwent r-hGH replacement therapy for 3-24 months and were followed up once every 3 months. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), insulin (INS), blood lipids and thyroid function were measured before treatment and after 0-1 and 1-2 years of treatment.
Results: After treatment with r-hGH, there were no significant changes in FBG, INS, insulin sensitivity index (ISI), and FBG/INS ratio (FGIR), but the FGIR showed a declining trend. The percentage of patients with FGIR<7 (a marker of insulin resistance) was 13% before treatment compared to 18% 1-2 years after treatment. The atherosclerosis index decreased after r-hGH treatment, but there were no significant changes in total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and BMI. Furthermore, no significant change in thyroid function was observed after r-hGH therapy.
Conclusions: r-hGH therapy can improve lipid metabolism, without significant impacts on thyroid function, FBG and INS. It seems to be a safe and reliable therapy for children with ISS. However, this therapy possibly reduces insulin sensitivity.