OBJECTIVE Concerns have been raised about possible adverse effects of growth hormone on renal function. We measured microalbuminuria as a sensitive index of early glomerular damage in children being treated with recombinant human growth hormone.
DESIGN AND PATIENTS Microalbuminuria was measured in a group of 17 children with short stature being treated with recombinant human growth hormone and in a group of 13 patients with idiopathic short stature not receiving therapy.
MEASUREMENTS Microalbuminuria was measured by a commercially available ELISA and urinary creatinines were determined using a Beckman creatinine analyser.
RESULTS The level of microalbuminuria was 0 484 ± 0 275 g albumin/mol creatinine (mean ± SD) in the patients receiving growth hormone and 0 681 ±0 574 g albumin/mol creatinine in the untreated controls. There was no statistically significant difference between these values.
CONCLUSIONS Treatment with recombinant human growth hormone does not cause an increase in microalbuminuria in children with normal renal function. This supports the safety of this medication in growth hormone deficient children with normal renal function.