Growth failure is a psychosocial problem for many patients who have undergone renal transplantation. 18 adolescents (mean age 15 6, range 11·3-19 5) with severe growth retardation after renal transplantation were treated with biosynthetic growth hormone (GH) for 2 years. All received prednisone, administered daily or on alternate days, with azathioprine and/or cyclosporin A. 16 were blindly assigned to one of two GH doses (4 vs 8 IU per m2 per day). Growth, bone maturation, renal graft function, plasma insulin-like growth factors, serum binding proteins, and other biochemical parameters were checked regularly. Glomerular filtration rate and effective renal plasma flow were tested with 125I-Thalamate and 131I-Hippuran. Data on growth and glomerular filtration rate during GH treatment were also compared with those of matched non-GH-treated controls. Mean (standard deviation) increment in height after 2 years of GH was 15·7 (5·1) cm, significantly greater (p<0 0001) than in matched controls, 5 8 (3 4) cm. Results were similar for the two GH dosage groups. Bone maturation was not accelerated. Glomerular filtration rate and effective renal plasma flow did not change significantly. The incidence of a >25% reduction in glomerular filtration rate over 2 years was not significantly higher in GH-treated patients than in non-GH-treated controls (39% vs 32%, p=0·97). Although a few patients had deterioration of graft function, we could not find a relation with GH treatment. Our results show that sustained improvement of height can be achieved with GH in severely growth-retarded adolescents after renal transplantation.

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Journal The Lancet
Hokken-Koelega, A.C.S, Stijnen, Th, de Ridder, M.A.J, de Muinck Keizer-Schrama, S.M.P.F, Wolff, E.D, de Jong, M, … Drop, S.L.S. (1994). Growth hormone treatment in growth-retarded adolescents after renal transplant. The Lancet, 343(8909), 1313–1317. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(94)92465-1