ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2013) 32 P804 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.32.P804

GH therapy and effect on ovarian function and morphology in short prepubertal SGA girls

Jeanette Tinggaard1, Rikke Beck Jensen1, Karin Sundberg2 & Anders Juul1


1Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark; 2Department of Fetal Medicine, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Background: GH receptors are present in ovaries and GH may have a physiological role for ovarian function and development.

Objective and hypothesis: The objective of this study was to examine pubertal development and ovarian growth and differentiation during GH therapy.

Methods: Clinical characteristics, reproductive hormones and ultrasonographic examination of the internal genitals were determined in 18 prepubertal girls during 3 years of GH therapy in a Danish sub-study of the North European SGA study (NESGAS), a multinational, randomised, longitudinal study of GH therapy in short prepubertal children born SGA.

Results: Median age at baseline was 4.91 years (4.51–7.22). Bone age advanced significantly during 3 years of treatment (P=0.007), but did not exceed chronological age. Uterine and ovarian volume increased significantly (1.05–1.72 ml, P=0.033 and 0.43–0.9 ml, P=0.005 respectively), but remained within the lower reference ranges. Ovarian follicles became visible in 69% compared to 27% before GH therapy (P=0.025). Precocious puberty was observed in one girl and another girl showed signs of a multicystic ovary.

AMH tended to cluster in the lower part of the reference range, but increased significantly during 3-year of treatment (P=0.028).

SHBG decreased during the first year of GH therapy (P<0.001) and remained low, while an increase in androstenedione and DHEAS was found during 3 years (P=0.043 and P=0.005 respectively). No cases of precocious pubarche were observed.

Inhibin B increased significantly during the first 3 years of treatment, but no significant changes in FSH, LH, estradiol or inhibin A were found.

Conclusions: GH treatment of short SGA girls can generally be considered safe, but as altered pubertal development and ovarian morphology was observed in 2 out of 18 girls, pubertal development and ovarian function should be monitored during GH therapy.

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