European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 147, Issue 6, pp 584–587 | Cite as

Correlation between pituitary growth hormone reserve and degree of growth failure in children with short stature

  • S. Kajiwara
  • N. Igarashi
  • E. Imura
  • T. Sato
Original Investigations


The correlation between a releasable pituitary growth hormone (GH) pool and degree of growth failure was examined in 30 children with GH deficiency (group I) and 19 children with normal short stature (group II). Based on the responsiveness of GH to GH-releasing hormone (GHRH), group I, with low GH responses (below 7 ng/ml) to both insulin and arginine, was classified into three subgroups; Ia (peak value less than 10 ng/ml, n=19), Ib (10–20 ng/ml, n=5) and Ic (above 20 ng/ml, n=6). Group II, with a GH response above 10 ng/ml to either insulin or arginine, was also divided into IIa (below 20 ng/ml, n=5) and IIb (above 20 ng/ml, n=14). Body length and growth velocity in Ia and Ib were significantly reduced vs Ic; bone age in Ia was retarded vs Ic; plasma somatomedin C (Sm-C) levels in Ia and Ib were decreased vs Ic, who had almost normal levels (0.90±0.55 U/ml). The incidence of other combined pituitary hormone deficiencies and previous perinatal distress was definitely high in Ia and Ib, but zero in Ic. In group II also, body length and growth velocity were significantly decreased in IIa vs IIb (P<0.01). These results indicate that [1] the pituitary reserve of GH estimated by GHRH is a good reflection of the degree of growth failure in GH-deficient children as well as in those of normal short stature, [2] hypothalamic GHRH deficiency tends to have a milder effect on growth retardation than pituitary GH deficiency, and [3] normal short children with a diminished GH reserve may be potential candidates for the GH treatment.

Key words

Pituitary dwarfism Short stature Growth hormone Growth hormone-releasing hormone 





luteinizing hormone


luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone


growth hormone


growth hormone-releasing hormone


somatomedin C


thyrotropin-releasing hormone




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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Kajiwara
    • 1
  • N. Igarashi
    • 1
  • E. Imura
    • 1
  • T. Sato
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, School of MedicineKanazawa UniversityKanazawa CityJapan

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