Growth is a good indicator of a child's health. Growth disturbances, including short stature or growth failure, could be indications of illnesses such as chronic disease, nutritional deficits, celiac disease or hormonal abnormalities. Therefore, a careful assessment of the various requirements for normal growth needs to be done by history, physical examination, and screening laboratory tests. More details will be reviewed about the GH-IGF axis, its abnormalities with special emphasis on GH deficiency, its diagnosis and treatment. GH treatment indications in the US will be reviewed and a few only will be highlighted. They will include GH deficiency, as well as the treatment of children born SGA, including the results of a US study using FDA approved dose of 0.48mg/kg/week. GH deficiency in adults will also be briefly reviewed. Treatment of patients with SHOX deficiency will also be discussed. Possible side effects of GH treatment and the importance of monitoring safety will be highlighted.
Keywords: Celiac disease; Chronic disease; Growth failure; Growth hormone; Nutritional deficits; Short stature.
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