Growth Hormone Deficiency

Growth hormone treatment can be started earlier to optimize long-term results

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Initiating growth hormone treatment at an earlier age may improve long-term growth outcomes for children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD), short children born small for gestational age (SGA), and Turner syndrome (TS).

The PATRO® Children Study included treatment-naïve patients with GHD (n=1,144), GSA (n=459), and TS (n=115). Patients were stratified based on age at initiation of growth hormone treatment in 3-year intervals spanning 2007 to 2018: 2007-2009, 2010-2012, 2013-2015, 2016-2018.

All patients started growth hormone therapy at a relatively [advanced] chronological age in 2007 to 2009:

  • GHD: 8.33 years
  • SGA: 7.32 years
  • TS: 8.65 years

A “slight but not significant trend” was observed for earlier treatment initiation in the later years studied:

  • GHD: 8.04 years
  • SGA: 6.67 years
  • TS: 7.85 years

The GHD and SGA cohorts had significantly more male participants, which remained unchanged over the 4 time periods studied.

Patients with GHD started growth hormone treatment at a low dose (0.026 mg/kg daily), and those with SGA and TS started therapy below the recommended dose, at 0.030 mg/kg and 0.0337 mg/kg daily, respectively.

In the first year of treatment, there was a “moderate” increase in mean growth hormone dose:

  • GHD: 0.0307 mg/kg/day
  • SGA: 0.0357 mg/kg/day
  • TS: 0.0408 mg/kg/day

Treatment dosing did not appear to change significantly during the study period. The researchers noted that earlier dose adjustments and younger age of treatment initiation may improve outcomes.

“The prospective use of a prediction model may help in optimizing treatment results for GHD, SGA, and TS patients,” the authors concluded.


Partsch CJ, Land C, Pfäffle RW, et al. Potential for optimization of growth hormone treatment in children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD), small for gestational age (SGA), and Turner syndrome (TS) in Germany – data from the PATRO® Children Study. Horm Res Paediatr. 2024. doi:10.1159/000539068