What are the limitations of human pituitary-derived growth hormone (pit-hGH) for the treatment of hyposomatotropism (growth hormone deficiency [GHD])?

Updated: Jan 24, 2019
  • Author: Sunil Kumar Sinha, MD; Chief Editor: Robert P Hoffman, MD  more...
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Pit-hGH was a suboptimal therapy for 3 reasons:

  • The shortage of pit-hGH limited its use and the dosages administered.

  • The biopotency of preparations varied. Strict diagnostic criteria for GHD were used to address these problems (eg, peak plasma immunoreactive GH levels of more than 3.5-5 ng/mL after provocative stimuli).

  • Treatment was often interrupted. The mean age for starting treatment with pit-hGH was often 12-13 years (late in childhood), and severe growth failure (height Z score -4 to -6) was required. As a result, pit-hGH therapy was often discontinued when girls attained a height of 60 inches and when boys attained a height of 65 inches.

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