Background: Children with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) have abnormal body composition and impaired growth. Short-term GH treatment has beneficial effects. Objectives: The aim of the study was to investigate effects of long-term continuous GH treatment on body composition, growth, bone maturation, and safety parameters. Setting: We conducted a multicenter prospective trial. Design: Fifty-five children with a mean ± SD age of 5.9 ± 3.2 yr were followed during 4 yr of continuous GH treatment (1mg/m2·d). Data were annually obtained in one center: fat percentage (fat%) and lean body mass (LBM) by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, height, weight, head circumference, bone age, blood pressure, and fasting IGF-I, IGF binding protein-3, glucose, insulin, glycosylated hemoglobin, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, and low-density lipoprotein. SD scores (SDS) were calculated according to Dutch and PWS reference values (SDS and SDSPWS). Results: Fat%SDS was significantly lower after 4 yr of GH treatment (P < 0.0001). LBMSDS significantly increased during the first year (P = 0.02) but returned to baseline values the second year and remained unchanged thereafter. Mean ± SD height normalized from -2.27 ± 1.2 SDS to -0.24 ± 1.2 SDS (P < 0.0001). Head circumference SDS increased from -0.79 ± 1.0 at start to 0.07 ± 1.1 SDS after 4 yr. BMISDSPWSsignificantly decreased. Mean ± SD IGF-I and the IGF-I/IGF binding protein-3 ratio significantly increased to 2.08 ± 1.1 and 2.32 ± 0.9 SDS, respectively. GH treatment had no adverse effects on bone maturation, blood pressure, glucose homeostasis, and serum lipids. Conclusions: Our study in children with PWS shows that 4 yr of continuous GH treatment (1mg/m2·d) improves body composition by decreasing fat% SDS and stabilizing LBMSDS and head circumference SDS and normalizes heightSDS without adverse effects. Thus, long-term continuous GH treatment is an effective and safe therapy for children with PWS. Copyright

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de Lind van Wijngaarden, R.F.A., Siemensma, E.P.C., Festen, D.A.M., Otten, B.J., van Mil, E.G.A.H., Rotteveel, J., … Hokken-Koelega, A.C.S.. (2009). Efficacy and safety of long-term continuous growth hormone treatment in children with Prader-Willi syndrome. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 94(11), 4205–4215. doi:10.1210/jc.2009-0454