Final height and growth hormone secretion after completion of growth hormone therapy in patients with idiopathic growth hormone deficiency and with abnormalities of the hypothalamic-pituitary region.

AIMS: The aim of the study was an evaluation of final height and growth hormone (GH) secretion after completion of GH therapy (retesting) in patients with GH deficiency (GHD).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: The analysis comprised 53 patients (43 boys, 10 girls) with childhood-onset GHD, who completed GH therapy and reached final height. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), performed in all the patients, led to the following groups: pituitary stalk interruption syndrome (PSIS), pituitary hypoplasia (HP), craniopharyngioma (CP) -- patients after tumour excision, patients with normal hypothalamic-pituitary region (NP).

RESULTS: In 51 patients, final height was normal. The height gain was significantly (p<0.05) greater in PSIS than in that other groups. In retesting, GH secretion was significantly (p<0.005) lower in PSIS and CP than in HP and in NP and also (p<0.05) in HP than in NP. Permanent severe GHD was confirmed in all the patients with PSIS and CP and in some patients with HP (37.5%), while it was excluded in all the patients with normal pituitary in MRI.

CONCLUSIONS: It seems that in patients with PSIS and CP, the confirmation of persistent character of GHD needs no retesting, while in patients with normal MRI results, GHD diagnosis should be established with special attention.

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