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    Growth Hormone Deficiency

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report Growth Hormone Deficiency is not the name you expected.

    Disorder Subdivisions

    • congenital GHD
    • acquired GHD
    • idiopathic GHD

    General Discussion

    Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is a rare disorder characterized by the inadequate secretion of growth hormone (GH) from the anterior pituitary gland, a small gland located at the base of the brain that is responsible for the production of several hormones. GHD can be present from birth (congenital), resulting from genetic mutations or from structural defects in the brain. It can also be acquired later in life as a result of trauma, infection, radiation therapy, or tumor growth within the brain. A third category has no known or diagnosable cause (idiopathic).

    Childhood-onset GHD may be all three: congenital, acquired, or idiopathic. It results in growth retardation, short stature, and maturation delays reflected by the delay of lengthening of the bones of the extremities that is inappropriate to the chronological age of the child.

    Adult-onset GHD is most often is acquired from a pituitary tumor or trauma to the brain but may also be idiopathic. It is characterized by a number of variable symptoms including reduced energy levels, altered body composition, osteoporosis (reduced bone mineral density), reduced muscle strength, lipid abnormalities such as increased LDL cholesterol, insulin resistance, and impaired cardiac function. Treatment for GHD requires daily injections of recombinant human growth hormone (rHGH).

    Patients with GHD that have no known cause are diagnosed as having idiopathic GHD. Genetic tests may reveal a congenital anomaly, but are often considered unnecessary after confirmation of GHD since they will have no effect on treatment. However, it is recommended that children be retested for GHD when they transition from pediatric to adult care since GH levels may normalize upon reaching adulthood. The level of GH considered normal for an adult is much lower than that for a child, especially one undergoing the pubertal growth spurt.

    Resources

    Human Growth Foundation
    997 Glen Cove Avenue
    Suite 5
    Glen Head, NY 11545
    Tel: (516)671-4041
    Fax: (516)671-4055
    Tel: (800)451-6434
    Email: hgf1@hgfound.org
    Internet: http://www.hgfound.org/

    MAGIC Foundation
    6645 W. North Avenue
    Oak Park, IL 60302
    Tel: (708)383-0808
    Fax: (708)383-0899
    Tel: (800)362-4423
    Email: mary@magicfoundation.org
    Internet: http://www.magicfoundation.org

    Child Growth Foundation
    21 Malvern Drive
    Sutton Coldfield
    London, B76 1PZ
    United Kingdom
    Tel: 442089950257
    Email: info@childgrowthfoundation.org or jennychild@childgrowthfoundation.org
    Internet: http://www.childgrowthfoundation.org

    NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
    31 Center Dr
    Building 31, Room 2A32
    MSC2425
    Bethesda, MD 20892
    Fax: (866)760-5947
    Tel: (800)370-2943
    TDD: (888)320-6942
    Email: NICHDInformationResourceCenter@mail.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/

    Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
    PO Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
    Tel: (301)251-4925
    Fax: (301)251-4911
    Tel: (888)205-2311
    TDD: (888)205-3223
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    Madisons Foundation
    PO Box 241956
    Los Angeles, CA 90024
    Tel: (310)264-0826
    Fax: (310)264-4766
    Email: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
    Internet: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 9/12/2012
    Copyright 1990, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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