Growth response of syndromic versus non-syndromic children born small for gestational age (SGA) to growth hormone therapy: a Belgian study

Marianne Becker, Muriel Thomas, Cecile Brachet, Claudine Heinrichs, Hilde Dotremont, Jean De Schepper, Philippe A Lysy, Dominique Beckers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: A substantial proportion of SGA patients present with a syndrome underlying their growth restriction. Most SGA cohorts comprise both syndromic and non-syndromic patients impeding delineation of the recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) response. We present a detailed characterization of a SGA cohort and analyze rhGH response based on adult height (AH). Methods: Clinical and auxological data of SGA patients treated with rhGH, who had reached AH, were retrieved from BELGROW, a national database of all rhGH treated patients held by BESPEED (BElgian Society for PEdiatric Endocrinology and Diabetology). SGA patients were categorized in syndromic or non-syndromic patients. Results: 272 patients were included, 42 classified as syndromic (most frequent diagnosis (n=6): fetal alcohol syndrome and Silver-Russell syndrome). Compared with non-syndromic patients, syndromic were younger [years (median (P10/P90)] 7.43 (4.3/12.37) vs 10.21 (5.43/14.03), p=0.0005), shorter (height SDS -3.39 (-5.6/-2.62) vs -3.07 (-3.74/-2.62), p=0.0253) and thinner (BMI -1.70 (-3.67/0.04) vs -1.14 (-2.47/0.27) SDS, p=0.0054) at start of rhGH treatment. First year rhGH response was comparable (delta height SDS +0.54 (0.24/0.94) vs +0.56 (0.26/0.92), p=0.94). Growth pattern differed with syndromic patients having a higher prepubertal (SDS +1.26 vs +0.83, p=0.0048), but a lower pubertal height gain compared to the non-syndromic group (SDS -0.28 vs 0.44, p=0.0001). Mean rhGH dose was higher in syndromic SGA patients (mg/kg body weight/day 0.047 (0.039/0.064) vs 0.043 (0.035/0.056), p=0.0042). AH SDS was lower in syndromic SGA patients (-2.59 (-4.99/-1.57) vs -2.32 (-3.3/-1.2), p=0.0107). The majority in both groups remained short (<-2 SDS: syndromic 71%, non-syndromic 63%). Total height gain was comparable in both groups (delta height SDS +0.76 (-0.70/1.48) vs +0.86 (-0.12/1.86), p=0.41). Conclusions: Compared to non-syndromic SGA patients, syndromic SGA patients were shorter when starting rhGH therapy, started rhGH therapy earlier, and received a higher dose of rhGH. At AH, syndromic SGA patients were shorter than non-syndromic ones, but their height gain under rhGH therapy was comparable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1112938
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was funded by BESPEED (Belgian Society for Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Becker, Thomas, Brachet, Heinrichs, Dotremont, De Schepper, Lysy, Beckers and the BESPEED group.

Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


Dive into the research topics of 'Growth response of syndromic versus non-syndromic children born small for gestational age (SGA) to growth hormone therapy: a Belgian study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this