Pelvic ultrasound evaluation in patients with Turner syndrome during treatment with growth hormone

P. Sampaolo, V. Calcaterra, C. Klersy, A. Alfei, C. De Leonardis, M. Maino, D. Larizza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Treatment with growth hormone (GH), alone or in combination with oxandrolone, is used in patients affected by Turner syndrome to improve growth velocity and adult height. Since GH interacts with gonadotropins in the stimulation of the human ovary, the aim of our study was to evaluate the possible effects of GH administration on uterine and ovarian characteristics. Methods: We performed pelvic ultrasound assessment in 29 patients with Turner syndrome aged 7.5-16.6 years (19 with 45,X karyotype; 10 with variant karyotypes) before and during treatment with GH alone. Uterine volume and ovarian size and morphology were compared to those of 23 age-matched girls with Turner syndrome not treated with GH. Both patients and controls were divided into prepubertal and pubertal groups. Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies (before and every 6 months during GH treatment for 2 years) were performed. Results: We observed a significantly higher uterine anteroposterior diameter and volume in younger (≤ 11 years) GH-treated Turner syndrome girls than in those who were untreated. Also visualization and heterogeneous echopattern of the ovaries were significantly more frequent in treated than in untreated Turner syndrome patients, particularly before the age of 11 years. The longitudinal study showed a significant increase in uterine volume, more related to treatment than to age. Spontaneous breast development and menarche were found more frequently in GH-treated Turner syndrome girls. Conclusion: Growth hormone therapy can have a co-gonadotropin role in patients with Turner syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-177
Number of pages6
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2003


  • Growth hormone
  • Ovarian morphology
  • Turner syndrome
  • Uterine volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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