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August 21, 1996

The Growing Conundrum: Growth Hormone Treatment of the Non—Growth Hormone Deficient Child

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Departments of Pediatrics and Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of South Florida College of Medicine, St Petersburg.

JAMA. 1996;276(7):567-568. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540070063033

In this issue of The Journal, Cuttler et al1 address the appropriateness of growth hormone (GH) therapy in short-statured children who are not GH deficient (non-GHD children). In a national postal survey of US pediatric endocrinologists (US members of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society), they evaluated the clinical practice of GH treatment of short stature. The study indicates that many pediatric endocrinologists prescribe GH for short stature conditions outside current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indications with precribing patterns driven by factors other than results of controlled trials, including family preferences, cost, and physician perception of the value of height and GH treatment.

See also p 531.

Pituitary-derived cadaveric GH has been used for the treatment of GH deficiency since 1958. Recombinant GH became available in 1985, allowing for an unlimited supply of somatotropin, and consideration of uses for other indications. In the United States, FDA-approved indications