A comprehensive set of serum markers of collagen turnover and growth was investigated in a longitudinal study of short children during growth induced by growth hormone (hGH) treatment. The study comprised 18 prepubertal children with short stature who had no other current illness or continuous medication. The growth rates and endogenous GH secretions covered a continuum from subnormal to normal. Before treatment, the concentrations of carboxyterminal propeptide of type I procollagen (PICP), reflecting type I collagen formation, of carboxyterminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP), a degradation product of type I collagen, of amino-terminal propeptide of type III procollagen (PIIINP), a marker for type III collagen formation, of alkaline phosphatase (AP), and of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) were within the lower limits of normal. The median IGF-I concentration was lower than the reference. One week after the start of treatment, the serum concentrations of ICTP, PIIINP, and osteocalcin (OC), and the increments in ICTP, PIIINP, and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) correlated with the subsequent height velocity. During the 12-month treatment, all markers were higher than those of age-matched references, but only the three collagen markers paralleled the changes in height velocity. In molar concentrations, ICTP increased less than PICP. Throughout the study period, the serum level of ICTP correlated with that of PIIINP, but not with that of PICP. The findings suggest that during hGH treatment, linear body growth is closely associated with collagen formation and degradation.