Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism 2000; 13: 403-8

Symptomatic versus substitution growth hormone therapy in short children: from auxology towards a comprehensive multidimensional assessment of short stature and related interventions.
Haverkamp F, Eiholzer U, Ranke MB, Noeker M.

There is an ongoing debate as to whether symptomatic growth hormone treatment (GHT) in short children without growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is justified, since there is no substitutional indication. The increasing evidence that final height cannot be normalized in these patients (e.g. in Ullrich-Turner syndrome) reinforces this controversy. We have focused on the empirical evidence on the psychosocial and physical meaning of being short in childhood as well as on the underlying assumptions of the different GHT indications. The indication for GHT in patients with non-GHD may be seen as a pharmacotherapeutic intervention in order to prevent the developmental, physical and psychosocial risks associated with short stature. This requires a qualitative shift in methodological assessment with respect to the psychosocial and physical impact of being short as well as of the potential benefit of new treatment indications in terms of a more comprehensive evaluation including health-related quality of life for these patients.