Effect of 2 years of high-dose growth hormone therapy on cognitive and psychosocial development in short children born small for gestational age
Lagrou, K × Vanderfaeillie, J Froidecoeur, C Thomas, Muriel Massa, G Tenoutasse, S Craen, M Lebrethon, M C Beckers, D Francois, Inge Rooman, R Thiry-Counson, G de Beaufort, C De Schepper, Jean #
European Journal of Endocrinology vol:156 issue:2 pages:195-201
Objective and design: Children born small for gestational age (SGA) are not only at risk for short stature, but also for neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems. In this study, we analyzed the effects of high-dose GH therapy on cognitive development and psychosocial functioning in 34 prepubertal (3-8 years) short SGA children, equally randomized into a GH-treated group (TRG) and an untreated group (UTRG). METHODS: At start and after 2 years, children underwent standardized tests measuring the intellectual abilities (Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised, or Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised); their parents completed a standardized questionnaire evaluating psychosocial functioning (Child Behavior Checklist; CBCL). RESULTS: At start, total IQ scores were significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the SGA group than in the general population: 32% of the SGA patients had scores below 85. After 2 years, IQ scores remained unchanged in the TRG, but increased significantly (P < 0.05) in the UTRG. After exclusion of children with developmental problems, however, no significant changes in IQ scores occurred in the UTRG as well as the TRG. At baseline, 24% (8/34) children had problematic CBCL total problems scores, equally distributed among the two groups; no significant changes in the different subscale scores occurred after 2 years. CONCLUSION: No beneficial effect of 2 years of GH therapy on cognitive and behavioral profile could be observed in a cohort of rather young short SGA children presenting a variable degree of developmental delay and behavioral problems. Subsequent follow-up could reveal potential long-term effects of GH therapy on development and behavior.