Evaluation of attention before and after 2 years of growth hormone treatment in intrauterine growth retarded children

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 1997 Feb;19(1):101-18. doi: 10.1080/01688639708403840.


The objective of this study was to assess attention in children with short stature following intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), at baseline and after 2 years of growth hormone (hGH) treatment. At baseline, all of the children had a birth height and a current height below the third centile. The attention measures (Sonneville Visual Attention Tasks: SVAT) of the IUGR group were compared with those of a comparison sample. In the baseline analyses, 48 children with IUGR and 119 comparison children were included; the 2-year follow-up analyses involved 41 children with IUGR and 68 comparison children. At baseline, children with IUGR showed deficits in divided, focused, and sustained attention. They were less accurate, exhibited more variability in reaction time, and performed more slowly and more impulsively than did the children in the comparison sample. After 2 years of hGH treatment, the IUGR group exhibited deficits in divided and sustained attention. They were still less accurate and showed more variability in reaction time and more impulsiveness. Current head circumference, the type of delivery, and global intelligence of children with IUGR were significantly correlated with attention measures. We hypothesize that short stature following IUGR and attention deficits are related, and that hGH treatment seems to have some beneficial effect on attentional capacity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / drug therapy*
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Time Factors