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Researchers Find Growth Hormone Therapy Safe and Effective in Children with Growth Deficiencies Due to Chronic Kidney Disease

Researchers in Germany have found that growth hormone therapy compensates for growth failure among children who are receiving corticosteroid treatment for chronic kidney disease.

Growth deficiencies are a common problem among children receiving corticosteroid treatment as a result of chronic kidney disease. A recent series of studies provides evidence that growth hormone therapy is capable of safely and effectively addressing this problem.

The studies were conducted by Otto Mehls and his colleagues at the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at the University Hospital of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in Heidelberg, Germany. The results were reported in the September issue of Acta Paediatrica, an English-language journal published in Oslo, Norway.

The studies were conducted because previous research has shown that therapy involving the use of hgh has improved growth in children with impaired growth due to chronic kidney disease. Recombinant human growth hormone is a synthetic version of the hormone, in contrast to the form that is naturally produced in the body. Mehls and his associates were particularly concerned with cases involving children receiving corticosteroid treatment following a renal transplant. Corticosteroid is another type of hormone, which is often synthesized for use in the treatment of various medical conditions. Corticosteroid use has been associated with deficiencies in growth.

To determine if growth hormone therapy is capable of counteracting corticosteroid-related growth failure in children, the researchers carried out a control study that compared two groups of subjects. One group received rhGH treatment and achieved significant improvements in height development. The second group did not receive the treatment and experienced a loss in height. As concluded by Mehls, et al., growth hormone therapy is a safe and effective way to improve growth in children suffering from growth deficiencies due of treatments related to chronic kidney disease.

The findings of the study support those of previous studies on the use of rhGH therapy. For example, Stalvey, et al. (2008) found indications that rhGH therapy improves growth in young children with impaired growth because of liver disease related to cystic fibrosis. Other studies, such as the one conducted by Moore, et al. (2008), have focused on the use of rhGH therapy for children with idiopathic short stature (short stature due to an unknown cause). A particularly useful study of the subject was conducted by Bryant, et al. (2007). These researchers examined ten randomized control trials involving the use of rhGH among patients with idiopathic short stature and found generally positive outcomes, even though there were a few mixed findings and the treated patients still remained shorter in stature than their normal-stature peers. The study by Mehls and associates provides further evidence of the usefulness of rhGH therapy in addressing growth-inhibiting conditions in children.

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