Primary growth hormone insensitivity (Laron syndrome) and acquired hypothyroidism: A case report

Oana R. Cotta, Libero Santarpia, Lorenzo Curtò, Gianluca Aimaretti, Ginevra Corneli, Francesco Trimarchi, Salvatore Cannavò

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Introduction. Primary growth hormone resistance or growth hormone insensitivity syndrome, also known as Laron syndrome, is a hereditary disease caused by deletions or different types of mutations in the growth hormone receptor gene or by post-receptor defects. This disorder is characterized by a clinical appearance of severe growth hormone deficiency with high levels of circulating growth hormone in contrast to low serum insulin-like growth factor 1 values. Case presentation. We report the case of a 15-year-old Caucasian girl who was diagnosed with Silver-Russell syndrome at the age of four and a half years. Recombinant growth hormone was administered for 18 months without an appropriate increase in growth velocity. At the age of seven years, her serum growth hormone levels were high, and an insulin-like growth factor 1 generation test did not increase insulin-like growth factor 1 levels (baseline insulin-like growth factor 1 levels, 52 g/L; reference range, 75 g/L to 365 g/L; and peak, 76 g/L and 50 g/L after 12 and 84 hours, respectively, from baseline). The genetic analysis showed that the patient was homozygous for the R217X mutation in the growth hormone receptor gene, which is characteristic of Laron syndrome. On the basis of these results, the diagnosis of primary growth hormone insensitivity syndrome was made, and recombinant insulin-like growth factor 1 therapy was initiated. The patient's treatment was well tolerated, but unexplained central hypothyroidism occurred at the age of 12.9 years. At the age of 15 years, when the patient's sexual development was almost completed and her menstrual cycle occurred irregularly, her height was 129.8 cm, which is 4.71 standard deviations below the median for normal girls her age. Conclusion: The most important functional tests for the diagnosis of growth hormone insensitivity are the insulin-like growth factor 1 generation test and genetic analysis. Currently, the only effective treatment is daily administration of recombinant insulin-like growth factor 1 starting from early childhood. However, these patients show a dramatically impaired final height. In our case, unexplained central hypothyroidism occurred during treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number301
JournalJournal of Medical Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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