Growth hormone therapy of Turner's syndrome: beneficial effect on adult height

J Pediatr. 1998 Feb;132(2):319-24. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(98)70452-4.


Objective: To carry out a multicenter, prospective, randomized trial of human growth hormone (GH), alone or in combination with oxandrolone (OX), in patients with Turner's syndrome (TS).

Methods: In an initial phase lasting 12 to 24 months, 70 girls with TS, verified by karyotype, were randomly assigned to one of four groups: (1) observation, (2) OX, (3) GH, or (4) GH plus OX. After completion of the first phase, group 3 subjects continued to receive GH only. All other subjects were treated with GH plus OX. Subjects were followed up until attainment of adult height and/or cessation of treatment. Data from this trial were compared with growth characteristics of 25 American historical subjects with TS (matched for age, height, parental target height, and karyotype) who never received either GH or androgens.

Results: Of the 70 subjects enrolled, 60 completed the clinical trial. The 17 subjects receiving GH alone all completed the trial and reached a height of 150.4+/-5.5 cm (mean +/- SD), 8.4+/-4.5 cm taller than their mean projected adult height at enrollment (95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.3 to 10.6 cm). The 43 subjects receiving GH plus OX attained a mean height of 152.1+/-5.9 cm, 10.3+/-4.7 cm taller than their mean projected adult height (95% CI: 8.9 to 11.7 cm). The historical control subjects had a mean adult height of 144.2+/-6.0 cm, precisely matching their original projected adult height of 144.2+/-6.1 cm.

Conclusions: GH, either alone or in combination with OX, is capable of stimulating short-term growth and augmenting adult height in girls with TS. With early diagnosis and initiation of treatment, an adult height of more than 150 cm is a reasonable goal for most girls with TS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anabolic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Body Height*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Oxandrolone / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Turner Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Turner Syndrome / physiopathology


  • Anabolic Agents
  • Oxandrolone
  • Growth Hormone