Randomised trial of growth hormone in short normal girls

Lancet. 1998 Mar 28;351(9107):940-4. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)60604-6.


Background: There are few data on the long-term outcome of growth-hormone treatment in short normal children. We assessed the impact of growth-hormone treatment on pubertal development and near-final height in girls.

Methods: In a randomised controlled trial, we studied ten girls, with a mean age of 8.07 years and height 2 SDs or more below the mean for their age, and eight short untreated controls matched for age, and 20 short untreated girls who did not give consent for randomisation. The girls received either 30 IU/m2 somatropin per week as daily subcutaneous injections or no treatment. We assessed pubertal staging and height gain every 6 months.

Findings: Eight treated girls completed a mean of 6.2 years' therapy. By a mean age of 16.4 years, their mean height SD score had changed significantly from -2.42 to -1.14 (p=0.008) and they were, on average, 7.5 cm taller than the girls in the control group (height SD scores did not change significantly from -2.55) and 6.0 cm taller than the non-consent group. The timing of each pubertal stage, and the age and amplitude of peak height velocity were similar for all groups.

Interpretation: Growth-hormone therapy effectively increased height SD score among short normal girls started on treatment in early to mid childhood, with no untoward effect on pubertal progression.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Body Height / drug effects*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Puberty
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Human Growth Hormone