November 1988

Differential Effects of 18- and 24-Gy Cranial Irradiation on Growth Rate and Growth Hormone Release in Children With Prolonged Survival After Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

Author Affiliations

From the Second and Third Pediatric Clinics, University of Bologna, Italy.

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(11):1199-1202. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150110077023

• To evaluate the effects of two different doses of cranial irradiation on growth and growth hormone (GH) release, we studied 61 children with acute lymphocytic leukemia who had survived at least five years in continuous complete remission. Forty-three children received 24 Gy (group 1) and 18 children received 18 Gy (group 2). Height was evaluated at diagnosis, at the end of treatment, and 6, 12, and 24 months later. Growth hormone release was evaluated by arginine and levodopa tests after the end of treatment. After diagnosis, the height SD score decreased significantly in both groups; two years after the end of treatment, only group 1 showed an SD score for height that was still significantly lower than at diagnosis. Group 1 showed impaired GH responses to the tests and, compared with controls, group 1 in fact included a percentage of subjects with a normal response to levodopa (ie, >8 μg/L) that was significantly lower (56.4% vs 83.3%) and a percentage of nonresponders to both tests that was significantly higher (21.6% vs 0%). These data indicate that only patients treated with lower cranial irradiation dosage (18 Gy) had complete growth recovery and normal GH responses to pharmacologic tests.

(AJDC 1988;142:1199-1202)