Efficacy of IGF-based growth hormone (GH) dosing in nonGH-deficient (nonGHD) short stature children with low IGF-I is not related to basal IGF-I levels


Correspondence: Pinchas Cohen, Vice Chair for Research, Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA, 10833 Le Conte Ave., MDCC 22-315, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. Tel.: 1 310 206 5844; Fax: 1 310 206 5843; E-mail: hassy@mednet.ucla.edu



Weight-based GH dosing is the standard for treating children with short stature. The current study validates the usefulness of IGF-based GH dosing for GH therapy in nonGH-deficient (nonGHD) children and its relationship with pretreatment serum IGF-I concentration.

Design and Patients

In this twelve-month, open-label, randomized controlled study, 151 nonGHD (based on GH-stimulation tests), prepubertal children with short stature and IGF-I levels ≤ 33rd percentile [–0·44 standard deviation score (SDS)] were randomly assigned to receive GH (dose based on IGF-I titration algorithm; n = 114) or to observation (n = 37). GH dose (initially 40 μg/kg/d) was adjusted every 3 months to achieve an IGF-I SDS in the upper normal range (66–99th percentile).

Measurements and Results

In treated children, mean height SDS (HSDS) increased from −2·5 at baseline to −1·7 at 12 months and mean IGF-I SDS increased from −1·7 to 0·1. These parameters remained unchanged in untreated children. There was no relationship between change in HSDS (ΔHSDS) and degree of IGF-I deficiency at baseline. No safety problems were observed. Both groups had a similar advance in bone age. At the end of study, ΔHSDS in treated children showed a positive correlation with IGF-I SDS, but not with GH dose [mean 59 μg/kg/d (range 29–92)], basal IGF-I SDS or 1-month IGF parameters.


In nonGHD subjects with short stature and serum IGF-I concentrations within and below the lower third of normal, adjusting GH dose to achieve an IGF-I level in the upper normal range resulted in a significant increase in HSDS, regardless of basal IGF-I levels.