Reversible hypothyroidism in growth hormone-deficient children treated with human growth hormone

Barbara M. Lippe, Andre J. Van Herle, Stephen H. Lafranchi, Robert P. Uller, Norman Lavin, Solomon A. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Six children with human growth hormone (hGH) deficiency became hypothyroid during the course of their therapy with hGH. This was accompanied by a decreasing growth rate, clinical symptoms of hypothyroidism and decreased serum T4 concentrations. Three of the 6 patients returned to the euthyroid state, both clinically and biochemically, with cessation of hGH therapy, and reinstitution of hGH precipitated hypothyroidism again in 2 of the three. The patients who remained hypothyroid have evidence of multiple pituitary trophic hormone deficiencies while those who reverted to euthyroidism appear to have isolated hGH deficiency. Evaluation of thyroid function while on hGH showed low T4, free T4 and T3 concentrations. The serum thyrotropin (TSH) response to thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) was absent or markedly blunted in 4 of 6 patients while receiving long-term hGH therapy but was normal or exaggerated in all patients when tested before or after only 5 days of hGH therapy. These data indicate that exogenous hGH results in an inhibition of the TSH response to TRH. The mechanism of this inhibition is unclear, but we postulate that it may be mediated by somatostatin secretion in response to pulse doses of hGH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)612-618
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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