European journal of orthodontics vol:20 issue:4 pages:417-25
Recently, children born small for gestational age (SGA) with a catch-up growth failure, have been selected for high dose growth hormone (GH) treatment. In order to gain greater insight concerning dentofacial growth and maturation of these patients, and to evaluate the possible effects of high does GH administration on facial structures, craniofacial growth and dental maturation were evaluated in short SGA persons. Seventy-seven cephalograms and orthopantomograms were available from 48 subjects, aged between 2 and 32 years. Craniofacial growth was assessed by calculating age- and gender-specific standard deviation scores (SDS) for eight linear and five angular measurements. Tooth formation was evaluated by means of a dental delay score (i.e. dental age minus chronological age). The SDS for craniofacial growth measurements for the lateral aspect showed a short anterior cranial base (-1.8 SDS), a small retropositioned mandible (< or = -1.7 SDS) and a small maxilla (-1.5 SDS); a high mandibular plane angle (+1.9 SDS) and a wide cranial base angle (+1 SDS). These findings result in a small retrognathic face with a relatively increased lower anterior face height (+1.7 SDS). In contrast to skeletal maturation, dental age was not delayed. The general growth retardation is, apparently, reflected to a differential extent within the craniofacial complex, while dental maturation appears to be a distinct process tightly linked to chronological age, and independent of general growth and bone age.