What are the patterns of growth during childhood for patients receiving hyposomatotropism (growth hormone deficiency [GHD]) treatment?

Updated: Jan 24, 2019
  • Author: Sunil Kumar Sinha, MD; Chief Editor: Robert P Hoffman, MD  more...
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Growth during childhood follows predictable patterns:

  • Before birth - Prenatal growth averages 1.2-1.5 cm each week.

  • Infancy and childhood - Growth velocity increases to 15 cm (approximately 6 inches) per year over the first 2 years and then slows to 6 cm (approximately 2 inches) per year until puberty.

  • Puberty - A second peak in growth velocity occurs during puberty. This peak occurs earlier but is lower in magnitude and is shorter in girls than in boys.

The table below summarizes the pubertal peak of growth velocity in children.

Table. Characteristics of the Pubertal Peak of Growth Velocity in Girls and Boys (Open Table in a new window)




Mean age at peak height velocity, y



Magnitude, cm/y



Duration, y



In children who are receiving rhGH therapy, growth velocity usually exceeds reference values in the first few years. Therefore, suspect partial GH resistance or noncompliance if suboptimal growth velocity is observed at the beginning of rhGH therapy.

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