Growth impairment and growth hormone-IGF-1 axis in infantile anorexia nervosa

Silvia Ghione, Sandra Maestro, Eleonora Dati, Virginia Silvestri, Giampiero I. Baroncelli, Silvano Bertelloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Infantile anorexia nervosa (AN) is a specific eating disorder of prepubertal children. Poor data are available on growth hormone (GH)-insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) axis in this disorder. Patient report: We report on a boy (4.5 years) with progressive growth impairment. At psychiatric assessment (DC: 0-3 R, AXIS I), he fulfilled all required criteria for diagnosis of infantile AN. Endocrine evaluation suggested impaired peripheral response to GH (high GH and low IGF-1 levels), likely related to energy deficiency. Methods: Auxological evaluation was shown as raw data and SDS using Italian reference values. GH secretion was assessed by arginine provocative test; IGFI generation test was done administering recombinant GH (0.05 mg/kg/day for four days). Psychiatric assessment was performed according to the DC:0-3R protocol. Conclusion: Impaired GH-IGF-1 axis may be involved in growth delay of children with infantile AN. A strict collaboration between endocrine pediatricians and child psychiatrists is advisable in the assessment of poor growing children without recognizable organic causes, showing normal/high GH levels and low IGF-1 values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1001
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2015


  • growth
  • growth hormone
  • IGF-1
  • infantile anorexia nervosa
  • prepubertal eating disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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