, Volume 73, Issue 1, pp 73-78

Small for gestation and growth hormone therapy

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Abstract

3 to 10% of neonates are born small for gestation (SGA). This usually occurs because of intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR). After birth most SGA infants show good catch-up growth and normalize their height and weight. About 10% of them continue to remain short (<−2SD) and do not achieve normal adult, height, resulting in psychosocial problems. The mechanism of short stature in these children is poorly understood. Infants who do not show catch-up growth usually have an alteration in the GH-IGF-I axis. Diagnostic and management criteria for short stature in SGA were ill-defined in the past. Growth hormone (GH) therapy for improving height in these children has been approved by the FDA. GH therapy leads to growth acceleration and normalization of height during childhood. Long term GH treatment normalizes adult height above-2 SDS in 85% children, and 98% achieve an adult height within their target height range. GH therapy is safe in SGA children, but it is important to monitor for side effects.