Background: Growth hormone treatment increases glomerular filtration rate (GFR), as serum IGF-I stimulates the renin-angiotensin system. Infants born with a low birth weight have a smaller number of nephrons, which cause a lower GFR, a higher blood pressure and a higher albumin-to-creatinine ratio in early adulthood. Method: A total of 261 young adults born SGA, previously treated with growth hormone (SGA-GH), were longitudinally followed. Glomerular filtration rate, based on serum creatinine levels, was determined at cessation of GH treatment and at 6 months, 2 years and 5 years thereafter. Glomerular filtration rate, blood pressure and urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio at 5 years after cessation of GH were compared with untreated age-matched controls (56 untreated short subjects born SGA [SGA-S], 118 subjects born SGA with spontaneous catch-up growth [SGA-CU], 135 subjects born appropriate for gestational age [AGA]). Results: Glomerular filtration rate decreased significantly only during the first 6 months after cessation of GH treatment, while remaining well within the normal range (124.6 vs 120.2 mL/min/1.73 m2, P <.001). SGA-GH adults had a similar GFR, blood pressure and urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio as the healthy controls born SGA and AGA. Conclusion: In conclusion, our 5 years longitudinal follow-up study shows a decrease in GFR during 6 months after GH cessation, but thereafter GFR remained stable and within the normal range. Glomerular filtration rate, blood pressure and urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio at 21 years of age were similar in GH-treated young adults born SGA and untreated controls born SGA or AGA. We conclude that long-term GH treatment in children born SGA has no unfavourable effects on kidney function in early adulthood. Précis: We present a longitudinal study on kidney function in the follow-up of growth hormone-treated young adults who were born small for gestational age.

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Keywords growth hormone, kidney function, microalbuminuria, SGA
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Series VSNU Open Access deal
Journal Clinical Endocrinology
Goedegebuure, W.J. (Wesley J.), Kerkhof, G.F, & Hokken-Koelega, A.C.S. (2019). Glomerular filtration rate, blood pressure and microalbuminuria in adults born SGA: A 5-year longitudinal study after cessation of GH treatment. Clinical Endocrinology. doi:10.1111/cen.14095