Recombinant growth hormone treatment in short patients with thalassemia major: Results after 24 and 36 months

L. Cavallo, A. Acquafredda, C. Zecchino, V. De Sanctis, M. Cisternino, M. C. Nicoletti, M. Galati, F. Massolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Treatment with recombinant growth hormone (rhGH), 0.6 IU/kg/week s.c., previously successfully conducted for one year, was continued in 15 (Group A) and 8 (Group B) short thalassemia major patients with reduced GH reserve, for two and three years, respectively. In Group A, height for chronological age (Ht SDSCA) increased significantly (p=0.021) from the start of treatment, but the positive effect was only apparent because of the concomitant slight worsening of height for bone age (Ht SDSBA). Median ΔHt SDSCA/ΔHt SDSBA was CA nor Ht SDSBA differed statistically from starting values, the former having a positive trend and the latter a negative one. Median ΔHt SDSCA/ΔHt SDSBA was 0.92 with respect to the start, and 0.94 with respect to the end of the second year. IGF-I levels increased significantly (p=0.043) with respect to starting values. Our data show that the encouraging results described from the first year of rhGH treatment did not persist during the second and third years, and we conclude that this is because increase in bone age with continued treatment is equal to, or slightly greater than the height age increase. We propose that patients with thalassemia major with short stature should receive rhGH treatment for only one year, and that more prolonged treatment should be reserved for selected adolescents who have psychological problems due to shortness; for these patients growth acceleration could represent the main goal, even if this leads to a substantially unchanged or slightly decreased final height.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1133-1137
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Recombinant growth hormone therapy
  • Thalassemia major

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Recombinant growth hormone treatment in short patients with thalassemia major: Results after 24 and 36 months'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this