Growth-hormone treatment of renal transplant recipients: the National Cooperative Growth Study experience--a report of the National Cooperative Growth Study and the North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate growth response and renal allograft measures after recombinant human growth-hormone (GH) treatment in pediatric renal transplant recipients.
STUDY DESIGN: Data on GH-treated children in the National Cooperative Growth Study (NCGS) database were linked to the database of the North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study (NAPRTCS). Data were analyzed for growth rate, graft survival, graft function, acute rejection, and adverse events. Data on 2390 transplant recipients in the NAPRTCS who had at least 24 months of graft function were used in the comparisons.
RESULTS: Fifty-nine patients were treated with GH after renal transplantation. One-year growth data were available for 42 of these; 2-year, for 31; and 3-year, for 13. Growth velocity increased from 2.47 +/- 1.83 cm/yr to 7.17 +/- 2.97 cm/yr after 1 year. Year-2 and -3 growth rates were 5.93 +/- 2.29 cm/yr and 6.31 +/- 2.32 cm/yr. Height standard deviation score immediately after transplantation was -3.26 +/- 1.44 and at the initiation of GH was -3.59 +/- 1.15; it increased to -3.18 +/- 1.06 at year 1 and to -3.16 +/- 0.92 at year 2 and was -3.31 +/- 1.00 at year 3. Five-year graft survival was 80% in the GH cohort and 85% in the NAPRTCS cohort. Acute rejection ratio was 1.44 and 1.43 episodes per patient in the GH and NAPRTCS cohorts, respectively. Calculated creatinine clearance at 6 years was 68 and 63 ml/min per 1.73 m2, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Growth hormone increase growth velocity for up to 3 years without an apparent decrease in graft survival or renal function, and no relation between GH therapy and acute rejection is seen. A randomized, prospective study to evaluate further the safety and efficacy of this promising therapy is required.