Catch-Up Growth: Role of GH–IGF-I Axis and Thyroxine

  • Ashraf T. SolimanEmail author
  • Ahmad ElAwwa


Animals and children with many systemic diseases and environmental conditions have impaired linear growth. When remission occurs, growth often resumes at a rate faster and beyond the normal rate for age. This phase of accelerated growth constitutes the “catch-up growth” phenomenon. The term catch-up growth describes the phase of rapid linear growth that allows the child to accelerate toward his pre-illness growth curve. This may be complete or incomplete depending upon the final height, with reference preferably to the genetic target height. Catch-up growth has been observed in a wide range of endocrinal, nutritional, medical, and emotional disturbances, and the underlying causes are complex and not always well understood. Regulation of catch-up growth involves a genetically determined, pre-programmed, intrinsic ability of the growth plate that is coordinated by important biological regulators including nutrition, GH–IGF-I system, insulin, thyroxine, cortisol, sex steroids, and leptin. The degree of catch-up growth and the factors influencing it are better studied in relation to the different phases of normal human growth because of the variable regulating factors and the different rates of normal growth during these phases. In the following section, catch-up phenomenon and possible mechanisms influencing it and the changes in the GH–IGF-I axis and other factors influencing this axis are reviewed during different phases of stature growth.


Growth Hormone Growth Plate Growth Hormone Deficiency Hypertrophic Zone Growth Plate Chondrocytes 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Body mass index


Constitutional delay of growth and puberty


Catch-up growth


Growth hormone


GH deficiency


Growth plate


Growth velocity


Height standard deviation score


Insulin-like growth factor-1




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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics and EndocrinologyHamad Medical Center and University of Alexandria Children’s HospitalDohaQatar
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsHamad Medical Centre and University of Alexandria Children’s HospitalDohaQatar

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