What are the possible complications of 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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Recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH), which is used to treat hyposomatotropism, has a well-established profile of adverse effects in the pediatric population. rhGH reduces insulin sensitivity, resulting in hyperglycemia among patients who are predisposed to develop insulin resistance. [68]

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis occurs more frequently in patients with renal or endocrine disorders or in patients undergoing rapid growth than in the general population.

Scoliosis may progress in patients with rapid growth secondary to rhGH therapy. [69]

Intracranial hypertension with papilledema, visual changes, headaches, nausea, and/or vomiting have been reported in a small number of patients treated with rhGH. The symptoms usually occurred within the first 8 weeks of initiating rhGH therapy.

Funduscopic examination is recommended at start of rhGH therapy and at each follow-up visit.

Peripheral edema and prepubertal gynecomastia have been associated with rhGH therapy. [70]

With the exception of slipped capital femoral epiphysis, most adverse effects associated with rhGH therapy resolve after the dosage is reduced or after therapy ends.

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