Is a Two-Year Growth Response to Growth Hormone Treatment a Better Predictor of Poor Adult Height Outcome Than a First-Year Growth Response in Prepubertal Children With Growth Hormone Deficiency?

S. Straetemans*, R. Rooman, J. De Schepper, BESPEED

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


ObjectiveThe first year response to growth hormone (GH) treatment is related to the total height gain in GH treated children, but an individual poor first year response is a weak predictor of a poor total GH effect in GH deficient (GHD) children. We investigated whether an underwhelming growth response after 2 years might be a better predictor of poor adult height (AH) outcome after GH treatment in GHD children.Design and methodsHeight data of GHD children treated with GH for at least 4 consecutive years of which at least two prepubertal and who attained (near) (n)AH were retrieved from the Belgian Register for GH treated children (n = 110, 63% boys). In ROC analyses, the change in height (Delta Ht) SDS after the first and second GH treatment years were tested as predictors of poor AH outcome defined as: (1) nAH SDS <-2.0, or (2) nAH SDS minus mid-parental height SDS <-1.3, or (3) total Delta Ht SDS ResultsEleven percent of the cohort had a total Delta Ht SDS 70%. First-year Delta Ht SDS <0.41 correctly identified 42% of the patients with poor AH outcome at a 95% specificity level, resulting in respectively 5/12 (4.6%) correctly identified poor final responders and 5/98 (4.5%) misclassified good final responders (ratio 1.0). Delta Ht SDS after 2 prepubertal years had a cut-off level of 0.65 and a sensitivity of 50% at a 95% specificity level, resulting in respectively 6/12 (5.5%) correctly identified poor final responders and 5/98 (4.5%) misclassified good final responders (ratio 1.2).ConclusionIn GHD children the growth response after 2 prepubertal years of GH treatment did not meaningfully improve the prediction of poor AH outcome after GH treatment compared to first-year growth response parameters. Therefore, the decision to re-evaluate the diagnosis or adapt the GH dose in case of poor response after 1 year should not be postponed for another year.
Original languageEnglish
Article number678094
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • growth hormone treatment
  • growth hormone deficiency
  • children
  • growth response
  • poor adult height outcome
  • 1ST YEAR

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