Left ventricular volume and mass in children on growth hormone therapy compared with untreated children
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The myotropic effects of growth hormone (GH) have long been known. An excess of GH as in acromegaly, causes various problems within the circulatory system including cardiac hypertrophy. Although the latter has not been reported as a complication of GH therapy in children, we assessed this possibility in 54 children. Ninety-six echocardiographic studies were performed, in which bisectional images were analysed by Simpson's rule to determine left ventricular volume and mass. Of special interest were 47 results obtained from girls with Ullrich-Turner-syndrome (UTS) treated with supraphysiological doses of GH. Our results showed a significant increase of the myocardial mass in children on GH therapy compared with untreated children, as well as a dose related effect of GH on cardiac mass in girls and cardiac volume in boys. No cardiac hypertrophy, however, could be observed; the increase in muscular mass merely amounting to a normalization of previously low values.
Key wordsCardiac hypertrophy Echocardiography Growth hormone therapy
familial short stature
- IUGR (=SGA)
intra-uterine growth retardation
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