Clinical Indications for Growth Hormone Therapy

Adv Pediatr. 2022 Aug;69(1):203-217. doi: 10.1016/j.yapd.2022.03.005. Epub 2022 Jun 17.


Growth hormone (GH) is an injectable medication originally used to replace the deficiency of the hormone, but has expanded to treating conditions that may reduce growth and adult height even when the body maintains endogenous GH production. In the United States, there are 8 Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved indications for pediatric GH therapy: GH deficiency, Prader-Willi Syndrome, small for gestational age (SGA) without catch-up growth, idiopathic short stature, Turner syndrome, SHOX gene haploinsufficiency, Noonan Syndrome, and chronic renal insufficiency. We characterize the growth patterns and effects of GH treatment in each of these indications. We also review patterns of growth that warrant referral to a pediatric endocrinologist, as well as safety updates. This review is intended to guide practitioners on the initial evaluation and management of patients with short stature, and the indications for GH therapy.

Keywords: Growth; Growth hormone; Growth hormone deficiency; Idiopathic short stature; Prader–Willi syndrome; Short stature; Turner syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Dwarfism* / drug therapy
  • Growth Disorders / diagnosis
  • Growth Disorders / drug therapy
  • Growth Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Human Growth Hormone* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome* / drug therapy
  • Turner Syndrome* / chemically induced
  • Turner Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Turner Syndrome* / drug therapy
  • United States


  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Growth Hormone