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ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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vol. 43
Clinical immunology

Thyroid function in children with growth hormone deficiency during long-term growth hormone replacement therapy

Ewelina Witkowska-Sędek, Ada Borowiec, Anna Majcher, Maria Sobol, Małgorzata Rumińska, Beata Pyrżak

(Centr Eur J Immunol 2018; 43 (3): 255-261)
Online publish date: 2018/10/30
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Aim of the study
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of growth hormone (GH) therapy on thyroid function in a group of euthyroid children with isolated idiopathic growth hormone deficiency (GHD).

Material and methods
The study was retrospective and included 117 children treated with GH for 1-4 years. Anthropometric measurements and serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and free thyroxine (fT4) were analysed at baseline and during GH therapy.

TSH levels did not change significantly after the initiation of GH treatment, while fT4 levels decreased after the second year of GH treatment (p < 0.01) and remained lower than baseline until the end of observation (p < 0.01, after both the third and fourth year of therapy) in the whole group. Analysis according to baseline pubertal status revealed significant changes in TSH and fT4 levels during GH treatment, but only in the prepubertal children. Multiple regression analysis confirmed that mean GH doses administered in the first two years of GH therapy were independently (R = 0.218, p < 0.05) associated with changes in fT4 levels in this period (∆fT42 years – baseline), even when taking into account changes in height SDS and bone age.

FT4 levels decreased during GH replacement therapy, while TSH levels appeared to be unaffected by GH therapy. Prepubertal children seem to be more predisposed to thyroid function alterations during such therapy in comparison to pubertal children. Changes in fT4 levels during GH replacement therapy are related to GH doses.


growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 axis, thyroid function, growth hormone deficiency, growth hormone replacement therapy, children

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