Why is human pituitary-derived growth hormone (pit-hGH) no longer used in 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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Nonetheless, pit-hGH had dramatic effects. Among patients with isolated GHD, final height standard deviation scores increased to approximately -2 in boys and -2.5 to -3 in girls. For children with multiple pituitary-hormone deficiencies, height standard deviation scores increased to between -1 and -2.

The number of patients with GHD who were treated with pit-hGH increased from approximately 150 to more than 3000 by 1985. However, in 1985, studies indicated that pit-hGH was the likely source of contaminated material (prions) responsible for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (a slowly developing, progressive, fatal neurologic disorder) in 3 young men. [17] As a consequence, production and distribution of pit-hGH for therapy was discontinued.

Since 1985, recombinant DNA–produced human growth hormone has assured a safe and unlimited supply for uninterrupted therapy at doses adequate to restore normal growth.

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