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Hormones

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 382–388 | Cite as

Increased prevalence of growth hormone deficiency in patients with vernal keratoconjuntivitis; An interesting new association

  • Stefano Stagi
  • Neri Pucci
  • Laura di Grande
  • Cinzia de Libero
  • Roberto Caputo
  • Stefano Pantano
  • Salvatore Seminara
  • Maurizio de Martino
  • Elio Novembre
Research paper

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) is a chronic conjunctivitis that mainly affects children living in temperate areas. The notable difference between genders and VKC’s resolution with puberty have persistently suggested a role of hormonal factors in VKC development. OBJECTIVE: To describe six cases of males with VKC and growth hormone deficiency (GHD) reported as a long-term follow-up during rhGH treatment. METHODS: Six consecutive male patients (median age at GHD diagnosis 9.7, range 7.9 to 13.1 years) with VKC, were recruited from July 2005 to July 2013 at the Paediatric Endocrinology Unit of Anna Meyer Children’s Hospital in Florence, Italy. In these patients, anthropometric data were collected periodically. In three of these patients, data were collected to near-adult or adult height. RESULTS: Familial history was uneventful for all patients. The target height was normal, ranging from 0.65 standard deviation scores (SDS) to 2.01 SDS. The patients showed a normal birth-weight (from −1.21 to 1.35 SDS) and birth-length (from −0.93 to 1.21 SDS). At GHD diagnosis, all of the patients exhibited demonstrated important growth retardation (from −2.05 to −2.78 SDS). Plasmatic concentrations of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 were low (from −1.85 to −3 SDS and from −1.81 to −2.76 SDS, respectively). GH stimulation tests showed classic GHD symptoms in all of the patients. Pubertal onset was normal. All of the patients treated with rhGH responded well to rhGH treatment. Adult height, evaluated in three patients, was in accordance with their target height. CONCLUSIONS: To our current knowledge, we have described for the first time six patients affected by VKC with GH deficiency, in some of whom we performed a long-term follow-up to adult height. Further studies will be needed to establish whether GHD may be a common feature of VKC patients. Nevertheless, it appears to be useful to carefully follow statural growth of VKC patients, while the possibility of a GH deficiency must to be taken into account in the presence of growth failure.

Key words

Children Growth Growth hormone Growth hormone deficiency Vernal keratoconjunctivitis 

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Copyright information

© Hellenic Endocrine Society 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano Stagi
    • 1
  • Neri Pucci
    • 1
  • Laura di Grande
    • 1
  • Cinzia de Libero
    • 2
  • Roberto Caputo
    • 2
  • Stefano Pantano
    • 1
  • Salvatore Seminara
    • 1
  • Maurizio de Martino
    • 1
  • Elio Novembre
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health’s SciencesUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Clinical Ophthalmology UnitAnna Meyer Children’s University HospitalFlorenceItaly

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