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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-21

Evaluation of changes in insulin sensitivity in prepubertal small for gestational age children treated with growth hormone

Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Dr. von Haunersches Children's Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich, Lindwurmstr, Munich, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Heinrich Schmidt
Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich, Lindwurmstr. 4, Munich - 80337
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijem.IJEM_91_18

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Background: Although growth hormone (GH) therapy for children born small for gestational age (SGA) has been approved for many years, there are still concerns about increasing their risk for insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus type 2. Monitoring of glucose homeostasis is therefore generally recommended, but there is no consensus on either the methods or consequences. Methods and Aims: The aim of our study was to analyze the oral Glucose Tolerance Tests (oGTTs) which were performed yearly from baseline to 4 years of GH therapy in a collective of 93 SGA children, who were prepubertal during the whole follow-up. We looked for correlations with auxological and laboratory data as well as predictive baseline results for glucose homeostasis during further treatment. Results: While glucose levels remained constant, insulin secretion increased from baseline to the first year of GH therapy. Insulin sensitivity index (ISI) showed no significant change afterwards; HOMA1, HOMA2, and QUICKI stabilized after the second year. For all indices mean values never reached pathological levels and no cases of diabetes mellitus were induced. Higher gestational age, lower birth length, and older age at start of GH therapy were associated with lower insulin sensitivity. No predictive factors for later insulin resistance could be found. Conclusion: As expected, in GH-treated prepubertal SGA children insulin resistance was induced, but not to pathological levels. No special risk factors for disturbed glucose homeostasis could be identified. Based on our opinion, performing oGTTs in GH-treated SGA children at baseline and in puberty should remain mandatory, but the current study recommendations regarding further surveillance of glucose homeostasis are questionable.

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