Skip to content

    Children's Health

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Growth Hormone Insensitivity

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report Growth Hormone Insensitivity is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Synonyms

    • Laron syndrome
    • growth hormone resistance
    • growth hormone unresponsiveness
    • GH insensitivity
    • GHI

    Disorder Subdivisions

    • GH receptor deficiency (GHRD)
    • GH inactivating antibodies
    • GH postreceptor deficiencies

    General Discussion

    Growth hormone insensitivity (GHI) is a group of extremely rare genetic disorders in which the body is unable to use the growth hormone that it produces. GHI can be caused by mutations in the growth hormone receptor (GHR) gene or mutations in genes involved in the action pathway within the cell after growth hormone binds to its receptor, preventing production of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), the substance responsible for the growth effects of growth hormone. Even more rarely, children with GH gene deletion who have been treated with recombinant GH develop antibodies that block GH binding to its receptor. Affected children fail to grow normally.

    Children with GHRD who are treated with IGF-1 before puberty have improved growth, but, unlike children with GH deficiency given recombinant GH treatment, they do not have normal growth restored. Treatment for these conditions is only effective while the growing bones are still open, i.e. before the completion of adolescence. IGF-I insensitivity due to IGF-I receptor mutation mimics GHI, but results in less severe growth deficiency and is somewhat responsive to treatment with recombinant GH.

    GHI is characterized by short stature and delayed bone age, as well as normal or high levels of circulating GH. Other common symptoms are delayed onset of puberty, prominent forehead, low blood sugar and obesity in adulthood. Except for an extremely rare form of GHI, where the gene for IGF-I is defective, brain development is normal, apparently because IGF-I can be made during fetal life without GH stimulation in the other conditions. Some, but definitely not all, patients with the less rare condition of IGF-I receptor deficiency may have mild intellectual impairment.

    Introduction
    Laron and colleagues in Israel, first reported the condition in 1966, based on observations that began in 1958, and have continued to the present. The molecular basis for the syndrome he described, genetic mutation of the GHR in some of the Israeli patients was initially described in 1989, and since then over 40 different mutations of this protein have been identified by many investigators. The other genetic defects in the action pathway of GH after its binding to the GHR and associated with varying effects of IGF-I deficiency have been described in the past 15 years.

    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

    Little People of America, Inc.
    250 El Camino Real Suite 201
    Tustin, CA 92780
    Tel: (714)368-3689
    Fax: (714)368-3367
    Tel: (888)572-2001
    Email: info@lpaonline.org
    Internet: http://www.lpaonline.org/

    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/

    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: 7/18/2012
    Copyright 1990, 1992, 1995, 2003, 2005, 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.

    Today on WebMD

    child with red rash on cheeks
    What’s that rash?
    plate of fruit and veggies
    How healthy is your child’s diet?
     
    smiling baby
    Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
    Middle school band practice
    Understanding your child’s changing body.
     

    worried kid
    fitArticle
    jennifer aniston
    Slideshow
     
    Measles virus
    Article
    sick child
    Slideshow
     

    babyapp
    New
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow
     
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
    Child Coughing or Sneezing into Elbow
    Article