JOURNAL ARTICLE

Growth hormone insensitivity associated with elevated circulating growth hormone-binding protein in children with Alagille syndrome and short stature

J C Bucuvalas, J A Horn, L Carlsson, W F Balistreri, S D Chernausek
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 1993, 76 (6): 1477-82
8501153
The purpose of this study was to assess GH sensitivity in children with Alagille syndrome (syndromic intrahepatic bile duct paucity) by examining their response to short term administration of recombinant human GH (rhGH). Serum levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) were low despite elevated overnight integrated serum GH concentrations. Administration of rhGH (0.05 mg/kg.day for 3 days) to four growth-retarded children with Alagille syndrome did not significantly alter the serum concentrations of IGF-I and insulin, blood urea nitrogen, or urinary calcium excretion. In contrast, circulating IGF-I increased 2-fold in two children with Alagille syndrome and normal stature. In the control group, consisting of seven prepubertal children with GH deficiency, the predicted changes in response to rhGH in serum concentrations of IGF-I and insulin, urea nitrogen, and urinary calcium excretion were observed. Serum GH-binding protein levels, measured by a ligand-mediated immunofunctional assay, were significantly higher in children with Alagille syndrome than in children with cirrhosis or GH deficiency. We conclude that growth-retarded children with Alagille syndrome are insensitive to GH. The growth disturbances and metabolic defects may be due in part to failure to increase IGF-I concentrations in response to GH, implying that growth-retarded children with Alagille syndrome may benefit from IGF-I treatment.

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