Growth and hormonal status of children treated for brain tumours

Childs Brain. 1982;9(3-4):284-93. doi: 10.1159/000120064.


The adult survivors of the treatment of brain tumours in childhood are often short. Several adverse factors contribute to the impaired growth of these children including growth hormone (GH) deficiency, impaired spinal growth following spinal irradiation, chemotherapy, poor nutritional intake and recurrent tumour. The GH deficiency is due to radiation-induced damage to the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. GH is always the first pituitary hormone to be affected by such radiation damage but panhypopituitarism may occur if the radiation dose is sufficiently great. Preliminary results suggest that GH therapy will improve the growth rate of children with radiation-induced GH deficiency. Additional endocrine complications, which may occur following spinal irradiation, include thyroid dysfunction and ovarian failure due to direct radiation damage to the thyroid and the ovary.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Height / radiation effects
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Child
  • Growth Disorders / drug therapy
  • Growth Disorders / etiology*
  • Growth Hormone / blood
  • Growth Hormone / deficiency
  • Growth Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypopituitarism / etiology
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Thyrotropin / blood
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone / blood


  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Thyrotropin
  • Growth Hormone