Chemotherapy (CT) may produce growth impairment, however, the pathogenesis is still unclear.
A series of 25 patients mean age 13.3 years (6.3-19.8), previously treated for malignant solid tumours with only CT and surgery were studied. Growth hormone (GH) reserve was assessed by two different provocative stimuli (Clonidine and L-Dopa). Mean time between completion of treatment and GH evaluation was 18.5 months (2-74 months). At that time, all patients were in complete remission.
GH deficiency (GHD), defined by an impaired GH response to both provocative tests was observed in 11 out of 25 patients (44%). At diagnosis, mean standing height was +0.23 +/- 1.42 SDS in the GHD group (GHD-g) and +0.18 +/- 1.23 SDS in the non-GHD group (n-GHD-g). At the end of therapy, the mean standing height in the GHD-g was -0.31 +/- 1.22 SDS and -0.17 +/- 1.41 in the n-GHD-g, differing from the former group (P = 0.05).
For a mean follow-up of 30 months from the end of treatment, the mean standing height was -0.48 +/- 1.23 SDS in the GHD-g and -0.24 +/- 1.51 SDS for the n-GHD-g (P = 0.03). Growth rate at the end of treatment was +0.13 +/- 1.54 in the GHD-g and +0.21 +/- 1.75 in the n-GHD-g. For a mean follow-up of 30 months from the end of treatment, the growth rate was different between GHD-g and n-GHD-g (-0.31 +/- 2.72 vs. -0.21 +/- 1.93, P < 0.05).
1) Growth impairment in children treated because of malignant diseases has a multifactorial etiology, but CT-induced GH deficiency is one potential adverse factor. 2) An endocrine follow-up should be introduced in order to detect and treat hormonal deficiencies as early as possible.
CITATION Med Pediatr Oncol. 1995 Aug;25(2):90-5