cardiovascular disease

Is Cardiac Function Impaired in Children With Growth Hormone Deficiency?

Cardiac functioning is impaired among children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) compared with healthy children, but growth hormone (GH) therapy may help, according to results of a recent study.

“Echocardiographic parameters were similar in children with a GH peak [of less than] 7 μg/L and 7-10 μg/L,” the researchers wrote. “In [tissue Doppler imaging], both systolic and diastolic function was impaired in GHD children compared to controls. These parameters improved after one year of GH therapy but did not recover to healthy control levels.”

To conduct their study, the researchers compared the results of M-mode, pulse-wave Doppler echocardiography, and tissue Doppler imaging scans between 49 children with GHD and 49 healthy children. Scans were conducted at 6 months and 12 months after treatment initiation.

The participants also underwent 2 growth hormone stimulation tests and were categorized based on their peak growth hormone response (< 7 μg/L or 7-10 μg/L). Participants’ insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentrations were also measured.

Results showed that children with peak growth hormone responses of less than 7 μg/L and those with 7 to 10 μg/L had similar cardiac functioning. However, children with isolated or partial GHD had impaired cardiac functioning compared with healthy children.

“One year of GH treatment improves cardiac function but does not lead to complete recovery,” the researchers concluded. “No correlation was found between IGF-1 concentration and any echocardiographic parameter.”

—Amanda Balbi


Alkan F, Ersoy B, Kızılay DO, Coskun S. Cardiac functions in children with growth hormone deficiency: Effects of one year of GH replacement therapy. Growth Horm IGF Res. 2021;60-61:101432. d