What is the role of radiation in the etiology 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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Answer

Irradiation-induced hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction is dose related. Low-dose irradiation usually results in isolated GHD, whereas high doses most often result in multiple hormonal deficiencies. One study group reported that 2-5 years after irradiation, 100% of children receiving doses of at least 3000 cGy to the hypothalamic-pituitary axis over 3 weeks had subnormal GH responses to provocative testing. Hypothalamic irradiation also damages the growth plate cartilage and is associated with an increased incidence of precocious puberty (advanced bone age and premature epiphyseal fusion); both of these processes compound the effect on linear growth. [30, 31]


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